Infancy Stages of Hip Hop in Europe

Taking the culture beyond the U.S borders, sickness The Hip Hop Democrat brings you another look into the global role of Hip Hop.  Our guest road correspondant the Fly By Coco Latina touches on the early arrival of Hip Hop in Europe.

As the Hip Hop industry grows rampant in our Eastern counterparts of the world, we are forced
to hear the back to back records of Drake’s flaccid lyrics on the radio. This intrepid movement begs to ask the question “When did the influences of hip hop find itself in Europe?” This being new to me as well, led me to investigate the history of hip hop on a global scale. Of course the naïve questions begin to show face. Did it happen when Eminem started disproving the belief that white
people can’t rap? Did Europeans think “hey a white rapper made it in the U.S., let’s take a shot at it.” No, that couldn’t be true because trip hop was on and popping in the early 90’s. Trip hop, especially the group Portishead, had a Parisian flow to it, so that must be it then right?

France made headway in the hip hop scene in a major way riding on the tongue of MC Solaar back in 1991. “Caroline” was a big hit for the Dakar born rapper. His parents left Africa for Paris when he was six months old. He was adored by many fans when it came out running. MC Solaar lyrics are philosophical that obtains the essence of Common’s music.

Still it wouldn’t explain the movement in Germany. It’s widely known that Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” used samples from German song “Trans- Europe Express” by Kraftwerk. Come to find out, Germany was influenced by Hip Hop by the films “Beat Street” and “Wild Style”. Giving birth to the underground hip hop scene featuring graffiti and break dancing, Germany branched out to have one of the most diverse rap groups over time that would parallel to the U.S. as it matured. In fact, Germans celebrated their 30th year Hip Hop anniversary back in 2010.

Two rap groups in Germany that were popular during their hip hop’s infantile stage were Die Fantastichen Vier and Advanced Chemistry. Advanced Chemistry resembled Public Enemy with
their conscious lyrics exposing the adversity many Afro- Germans had to face as they were not recognized as Germans by society. Many of the Afro- Germans were descended from African- American G.I. and German mothers that were ostracized from German society; hence the name “occupation babies”.

Die Fantastichen Vier could not find a correlation between hip hop in a America and hip hop in Germany. In the late 80’s African Americans were still going through a lot of racial hostility that Die Fantastichen Vier could not relate to. American hip hop rapped about poverty and drugs while they wanted to rap about suburbs and clubs. Recognizing the vast differences, Die Fantastichen
Vier decides to label their music “Deutscher Sprechgesang” or spoken word. Sort of a milder version of 2 Live Crew, Die Fantastichen Vier would still top records with their song “Die Da”.

Two polar opposite rap groups hailing from the same country and viewing the world sweet
and salty, paved the way for the music industry it is today. We can only hope that hip hop will not die in their hands as well.

Via Franchesca Benzant “The Fly By Coco Latina”


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