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Posts Tagged ‘Jan Delay

Hip Hop from Germany Part 4

Not a rap album at all, but a record rooted deep down in the hip hop scene from Hamburg. From that rainy and windy city up in the North comes this groovy reggae, from roots reggae tunes to uptempo dancehall clashes. Jan Delay a.k.a. Eizi Eiz from the hip hop formation Beginner teamed up with the Sam Ragga Band in 2001 and recorded this fine piece of music. Reggae from Germany? Yes, it is possible and the result was groundbreaking for the national hip hop scene. Jan Delay was of course not the first doing reggae with german lyrics, a relatively big scene naming themselves “Germaican” exists since almost a decade, but they are just (mainly very boring and embarrassingly) copies of Jamaican Dancehall & NeoRoots acts. With “searching for the jan soul rebels” (the album title is undoubtly a homage to the Dexys Midnight Runners “searching for the young soul rebels” records from 1980) a new area started, nobody before did play with the german language in ways like these, changing pronunciations, stretching and tossing words like that to fit them perfectly to the music. Sadly this record also was the initiation for a new nationalistic wave across the german music scene, when german acts demanded a national radio quote for music from Germany. In this debate nationalistic and anti-american stereotypes soon raised their ugly heads. What difference does it make, if they just want to replace the musical trash from the USA with trash from Germany. I wish I could say Jan Delay did speak out clearly against these tendencies, like he always raps and sings against racism and nationalism on every record he did take part in, but he didn´t. But back to topic…

The album is introduced by Torch from legendary Advanced Chemistry and more important german hip hop heads do take part, Sammy Deluxe from Hamburg and member of the Mongo Clikke, D-Flame and a wonderful song with Xavier Naidoo. I have to say, I really don´t like this guy and his R´n´B songs with dumb religious lyrics. Xavier Naidoo tries to write romantic poems, but only kitschy trash is the result – but together with Jan Delay and Dennis Dublate a.k.a. Denyo from the Beginner he knows to convince.

The record was very popular and a mega-seller, even the single “Ich will nicht das ihr meine Lieder singt” with a really clear message against all the people who must have bought it to became a mega-seller, had high chart entries. Once again a proof that pop-culture will never change the world and that even songs with a strong message against the stupid and boring masses will be bought by them.

Alles ist vergiftet.


Hip Hop from Germany Part 1

Some people requested german (conscious) hip hop after reading the posting about Bözemann (“The Bad Man”) and the actual tendencies in german hip hop. Ok, here we go: Beginner´s last record “Blast Action Heroes” from 2003. And yeah, I can see all the guys rolling their eyes and screaming “why didn´t you take this and that group/record?” Yes, there are a lot of good and legendary records, but I decieded to choose this one. Why? Because it is one of my personal favourites and the Beginner are on the spot since 1992. In this year they released the first EP, but they still were named “Absolute Beginners” and rapped in English. A few EPs and years later they changed the name to “Absolute Beginner” (just the german translation) and started to write lyrics in german. Because of this decision 3 of 7 band members left the Beginner. 1996 first longplayer “Flashnizm” was released and the tour with live-instrumentation strengthened the Beginners reputation as an awesome live act. Two years later second record “Bambule” hit the national charts, but the Beginner – likeable as ever – never did act like super stars or rap heroes until today. On “Bambule” they shrunk to a trio, consisting of Eizi Eiz (a.k.a. Jan Delay), Denyo and DJ Mad. After a remix record in 2000, Jan Delay and Denyo started solo projects. Jan Delay a fantastic reggae band and Denyo recorded some laid-back hip hop tracks. A second record from Denyo a.k.a. Denyo 77 has been released 2005, another Jan Delay monster 2007 – now changed the sound from reggae to funk. And beside all this, Denyo took part in the Brothers Keepers project. This was formed 2001 from some afro-german artists, after a new wave of racist violence hit non-whites in Germany and NeoNazis killed several people. Nowadays the Brothers Keepers engage mainly against racism and sexism within hip hop, but fascist youth groups and racist consens is still a serious problem in some areas of Germany.

Well, soloprojects killed the Beginner? No, 2003 “Blast Action Heroes” showed in an impressive way the state of art for the german hip hop scene. The Beginner are on of the last remaining groups from the last century, their hometown Hamburg – once the Mecca of hip hop in Germany – lost this status to Berlin and gangsta rap rules the scene now. But the Beginner still drop smart lines and fresh beats, this is the opposite of dull! You are not sure if you should give this a chance? Ok, bang your head to “Fäule” or smile to the feel-god hit “Gustav Gans” – by the way: this vid is not silly, it´s a adequate answer to all this gangsta-rap bullshit. Hammerhart? Yeah “Hammerhart“!

Blast Action Heroes – leave some feedback on this record, I´m interested if this ill record also flashes without understanding the eloquent lyrics.

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