European hip hop
European hip hop is hip hop music created by European musicians. Hip hop is a style of music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. Due to this success, it has gained worldwide popularity, especially in Europe where many diverse and unique styles of hip hop have been created.
- 1 By region
- 1.1 Northern Europe
- 1.2 Central Europe
- 1.3 Eastern Europe
- 1.4 Southern Europe
- 1.5 Western Europe
- 2 References
- 3 External links
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2008)|
In Denmark, Hip Hop rap music has been growing steadily more popular over the last fifteen years and began with Danish language acts such as MC Einar and Rockers by Choice, later on: less knowned Rip Rap & Rock, Flopstarz, Humleridderne and Faktaposen, The Danish way of doing rap music was topped in the 80's towards acceptance among the common people who did not listen to any rap music was with a rap song called: "Rap Nu" by the famed and beloved old Danish football commentator: Gunnar "Nu" Hansen. The rap song was released towards the European football championship. In the early 1990s, English was the preferred language for underground acts such as Dope Solution, Kidnap and one of the first female and ground breaking artists No Name Requested, who merged rap with reggae well before other Danish contemporary artists. In the late 1990s Danish language rap was again in demand and the favorite choice of artists because of artists such as Jokeren and his group Den Gale Pose. The Funky Fly record label has been an important part of this evolution. In contrast to many other countries, Hip Hop in Danish has been generally as successful or more so locally than acts in English. Some Danish English language rappers have become more well-known abroad than at home, such as Static and NATiLL, both popular German acts, and Funk Flush and Delireeus, who are well-known elsewhere in Scandinavia. Prominent Danish-language artists include:
The members often refer to themselves as F.I.P.G.C. (Full Impact Productions Gangster Click). The (in)famous Danish rap group Suspekt is made up of F.I.P members Orgi-E, Bai-D & Rune Rask although L.O.C. is a frequent guest, as well as Troo.L.S produces most of the tracks together with Rune Rask.
In 2005, two of the members, Troo.L.S & Orgi-E came out with an album, Forklædt Som Voksen (Disguised As Adult). The group has not split up, but they have made it clear that they will not make any new albums. However, they often perform together. While Suspekt was/is a group, F.I.P. can be considered a "guild."
[L.O.C] (Liam O'Connor) is the most successful solo-rapper in history of Danish hip hop, with his 60,000 sold albums. His first album, Dominologi, included hits such as "Absinthe" and "Drik Min Hjerne Ud" (Drink My Brain Away). His second album, Inkarneret (Incarnated) was a huge success, with hits as "Undskyld" (Sorry), "Hvem" (Who), and "Pop Det Du Har" (Pop [out] What You've Got). His latest album, Cassiopeia, was released on September 15, 2005 and the song "Frk. Escobar" (Miss Escobar) became a huge hit.
The two famous producers Rune Rask and Troo. L.S. have stood behind most of the hits of F.I.P. members. They have been awarded the title as best producer-team. In 2006, they produced the song "Gangsta Bop" by Akon. It will be featured on his second album, "Konvicted"
Finnish hip hop music is an increasingly robust part of the Finnish music scene. While some rappers based in Finland (Nuera, Paleface, Redrama, Jimmy Smallz, Tommy Sky) choose to record their rhymes in English, the majority use Finnish. The first recordings were released in the late 1980s but the real boom of Finnish hip hop came in the late 1990s.
The first major hip hop crew from Iceland was Quarashi, who were a hip-hop group that was marketed in the US as being inspired by the rock hybrid music of Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine. Quarashi broke up in 2005. Around the same time Quarashi released their first album a lot of rap groups were formed such as Subterranean which are considered to have released Icelandic hiphops biggest classic, Central Magnetizm. Other groups were Team 13 (later became Twisted Minds), Multifunctionals, Bounce Brothers and Hip Hop Elements (later named Kritikal Mazz). They all rapped in English except for one song from Multifunctionals called "Númer 1". They were later followed by performers like XXX Rottweiler (formerly known as 110 Rottweilerhundar) who along with Sesar A had the first all Icelandic hip hop albums published in Iceland (2001). Later (2002) they were followed by a decent amount of rappers following their lead and rapping exclusively in Icelandic. Bæjarins bestu, the freestyle battle champs of Iceland in one unit, Móri, a gangsta rapper who uses Icelandic, Afkvæmi Guðanna (The Offspring of the Gods), Bent og 7Berg (Bent and 7Berg) and, most recently, Hæsta Hendin (The Highest Hand). Icelandic lyrics are usually very direct and aggressive, with battle raps forming a sizeable portion of Icelandic hip hop.
Hip hop culture arrived in Ireland in the 1980s and has enjoyed a steady underground scene ever since. By the early 1990s, the scenes in Dublin, Cork and Belfast included such performers as Third Eye Surfers, Marxman, Messiah J. and The Expert, Homebrew and Scary Éire. Despite this, it has never had the same worldwide recognition that British hip hop has seen in recent years. Currently hip-hop in Ireland is still going strong. Dublin hosts names such as Lisa Dee. Ireland has its own urban music magazine RAP IRELAND, an urban brand that also promote clubs and concerts, and run Dublin-based Blackhouse Studios and the Rap Ireland DJ School.
Hip hop would spread to all of Scandinavia, including Norway, in the early 1980s. With breakdancing and graffiti art growing increasingly popular, a number of underground hip hop musicians gained fame among the genre's limited fanbase in the late 1980s. These included A-Team (later Bolt Warhead) and Tommy Tee, who also put out a prominent hip hop magazine/fanzine called Fat Cap and a radio show Strictly Hip Hop (later The National Rap Show).
The early to mid-nineties saw acts like Warlocks, Ellers Det, Captain Anarad and Dream Of Utopia struggle for recognition (to little effect). In the late 1990s and into the beginning of the 21st century, performers like Opaque, Darkside of the Force and Gatas Parlament became prominent. Tungtvann, Apollo, Klovner i Kamp, Spetakkel, Jaa9 & OnklP, Karpe Diem and other Norwegian-language hip hop crews, achieved some mainstream popularity after the turn of the millennium.
Swedish hip hop emerged in the first half of the 1980s and crossed into the mainstream a decade later. Some early rappers and crews were Per Cussion, Grandmaster Funk, Quincy Jones III and the Ice Cold Rockers. Groups that achieved mainstream popularity in the early 1990s include Just D, Infinite Mass and The Latin Kings. In the late 1990s there was a second breakthrough and artists like Petter, Organism 12, Seron, PST-Q, Öris, Professor P, Supersci, Prop Dylan, Trainspotters, Thomas Rusiak, Timbuktu, Ken Ring and Looptroop became well-known. More recent acts worth mentioning are Labyrint, Stor, Linda Pira, Henry Bowers, Allyawan, Carlito Promoe, Snook, Chords, Ison & Fille, Advance Patrol, Million Stylez, Lazee, Roffe Ruff, Fronda, Grey Matter of Sweden and Adam Tensta.
The group Labyrint from Uppsala have four members; Jacco, Dajanko, Dj Sai and Aki. They spread a mix of rap and reggae called Förortsreggae. Many other rappers such as Sebbe Staxx andRhymes & Riddim have done songs within this genre. Labyrint's songs are played through all of Sweden and is loved by many people. Their songs often have the theme "the government screws us" and try to reflect on the life of people within the suburbs. They're signed to the record company Redline Recordings
Redline Recordings is a Stockholm-based record company run by Salla and Masse, or, TSB (The Salazar Brothers). The record company was founded in 1996 by the brothers Salla, Chepe and Massa. The name is derived from the name on Stockholm's subway, Röda Linjen (The Red Line). The record company work as a sub organization to Universal Music and is one of the most important forces within the Swedish hip hop stage. They have signed the following musicians; Carlito, Stor, Labyrint, Linda Pira, Dani M, Amsie Brown, Aki, Jacco, Dajanko and Mohammed Ali.
Nils Jansson, more famously known as Henry Bowers or Kung Henry is a rapper from Uppsala with some hits. He has also participated in Poetry Slam contests and Spoken Word. Although he isn't very big within music he is very big in Rap battles. He is internationally famous for his skills on the rap battle stage. He is signed to the record company Kaftkaotiska Inspelningar.
British hip hop originated in the early 1980s, having been hugely influenced by the New York scene. Just like in the United States, specifically New York, British hip hop emerged graffiti and break dancing. After such work of arts, DJ's started to take over dance clubs and this was the start of the hip hop scene in Britain. More interestingly, unlike American Hip hop, British hip hop artists were of all different ethnicities because different races were not segregated in Britain. As a result, an influx of ideas and music cross cultured making Hip Hop a music of all in Britain. However, hip hop still was not accepted in British society until the make of Gun Shot's tune "No Sell Out" in 1992. As a result, various hip hop artists became popular as well as the hip hop scene. However, due to this influence, many British artists adopted American accents when recording and it wasn't until a few years later that Britain gained the confidence to develop their own style, with "London Bridge" by Newtrament often cited as the first ever British hip hop tune. Although record labels were starting to take note of the underground scene, radio play and publicity were still a major difficulty in helping the fledgling scene to grow. Instrumental in bringing the scene to the attention of the country at large were DJs like Dave Pearce and Tim Westwood, and particularly John Peel who often championed British hip hop.
However, things did look promising: Hip Hop Connection—the first major British hip hop magazine—was founded in 1989 and by the early 1990s, the British hip hop scene seemed to be thriving. Not only was there a firm base of rappers in London, but outside of the capital many cities were developing their own distinct scenes. Bristol produced The Wild Bunch (later better known as Massive Attack), and major groups like the Scratch Perverts and Smith & Mighty, and later became the home of trip hop; Nottingham was the birthplace of the Stereo MCs. As the scene grew, it became less and less common for British rappers to imitate American accents and British hip hop became much more assured of its own identity.
The birth of black music radio station BBC 1Xtra, in 2002 provided another outlet for hip hop artists, with the genre being a core part of the station's output and the station showcases many UK acts. At the same time British hip hop also blossomed in new directions, with a new style of electronic music emerging in the early 2000s, influenced heavily by hip hop and UK garage, dubbed grime.
Further success followed as The Streets released their album Original Pirate Material (679 Records, 2002), and became one of the first of the new breed of British hip hop artists to gain respectable sales. This trend continued as Dizzee Rascal released his debut album, Boy in Da Corner, to huge critical acclaim. Sway also came into the public eye after winning a MOBO award in September 2005 for Best Hip Hop Act, defeating heavyweight hip hop artists 50 Cent and The Game to collect the award. Lady Sovereign achieved mainstream success both in Britain and America in 2005 after signing with Def Jam Recordings after impressing Jay-Z, as well as achieving chart success with singles released from her debut album Public Warning.
The U.K.'s Panjabi MC created a style integrated with Indian-based music and created the single "Beware of the Boys". Once Jay-Z added a couple of verses, it became a hit in the United States.
The Baltic states saw a noticeable growth in the hip hop community since the start of the 21st century. All three of the nations that comprise the Baltic states, which became independent in 1991 at the collapse of the U.S.S.R, have created a unique Baltic sound, that started from little to no beginnings prior to the independence of the nations. In all three nations the native language; Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian, respectably, are the dominant language of Baltic MC's.
Some popular Baltic Hip hop artists are: Lithuanian- G&G Sindikatas, Legato, Despotin' Fam (Vaiper, Shmekla, Liezhuvis, Andrewla) (formerly known as Shmekla&Vaiper), Tie Geresni (Karpiz, LT, Boostas), Mc Mesijus, Lilas, Dee & Kamy. Latvian – Roberts Gobziņš, Gustavo, Ozols Estonian Hip hop artists- G-Enka, A-Rühm, Põhjamaade Hirm, Kuuluud, Gorõ Lana, Fast K, S´Poom, 5 Loops, Tommyboy, Noizmakaz, Def Räädu, Stupid F & Hash, Suur Papa, Reket, Okym Riim, Beebilõust, Abraham, Chalice, Metsakutsu, RLV Massive, 7NS2], Põhja-Tallinn
Czech hip hop is a hip hop musical subculture in the Czech Republic. Its history began after the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Since that time began the creation of this subculture with lot of bands, clubs and hip hop festivals appearing all around the country. There are so famous hip hop singers and groups: Nironic, PSH, Indy a Wich, Prago union, Supercrooo...
Hungarian hip hop is gaining more popularity. Some of the former underground bands are in the media for instance: Akkezdet Phiai, Bobakrome, Sub Bass Monster, Hősök, Anonim MC, Street Royal, DSP.
The Polish hip hop scene began in 1990, when American rappers like MC Hammer ("Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em") and Vanilla Ice ("To the Extreme") were popular. The first album by a Polish performer was "East on the Mic" by PM Cool Lee, which featured two songs in the Polish language. Lee was from Kielce, but Warsaw soon emerged as a center for hip hop, after KOLOR, a radio station, began broadcasting Kolor Shock, hosted by Bogna Świątkowska, Paul Jackson, an African American expatriate, Sylvia Opoku from London, and DJ Volt, whose crew, IKHZ, became performing stars in their own right in 1995. Volt also founded the first Polish independent hip hop label, Beat Records. Though the label didn't last long, it did introduce groups like Trzyha and Molesta. Nowadays there are many subgenres of hip-hop present on the Polish scene and it is almost everywhere in the country. People or groups like Peja, Tede, OSTR or Sokol with his many projects such as WWO are the most recognizable rappers in Poland.
Polish hip-hop artists are well-known performers across Europe, especially in the Eastern Bloc. Many rappers from Poland are collaborating with artists from Europe, the USA and even Cuba.
The 1990s were marked by the emergence of Croatian rap music. The Ugly Leaders released the first ever Croatian Hip-Hop album, and gained a strong following in and around Rijeka. In 1991, the Croatian Liberation Front released two widely popular protest singles. The Zagreb rappers Bolesna Braća (also called Sick Rhyme Sayazz) and Tram 11 became particularly popular, and to an extent also the duo Stoka & Nered.
Croatian rap gained much from the fact the Edo Maajka, who is a Bosniak Muslim born in the Bosnian city of Brcko, signed to the label Menart, which is in Zagreb.
The Zagreb band Elemental also burst into the scene featuring one of the few Croatian female rappers.
Slovak hip hop is said to have begun in 1988. The hip hop scene was not popular among general public up until the start of new millennia. After 2001 hip hop music started to gain popularity as the quality of rap and music production improved. The most controversial and prominent slovak rapper and singer Rytmus is among the best selling artists in Slovakia and Czech Republic. With some of his music videos reaching more than million views he is one of the best known musicians in Central Europe. Together with Ego and Anys they formed Kontrafakt. Other popular groups and artists include H16, Gramo Rokkaz, Moja Reč, Vec, Zverina.
Slovenian hip hop can be traced back to 1978 but all rappers were forgotten or they disappear it's still secret, how it is known there were some illegal album releases. In the mid 80s were marked as the break-through of rap music in Slovenian music. Ali-En released first national rap album, that immediately became a classic, in 1989. The hip hop culture was heavily popularized by skier Jure Košir who also released an album with his Rap Team. In 1997 Dandrough, a rap duo, released Ko pride Bog ('when God comes'). The next few years there was a small hole in hip hop scene, with only a couple of albums in 2000 Klemen Klemen released Trnow Stajl, possibly the most influential mainstream album in Slovenian Hip Hop history of south style, at Menart Records. And then came H-Town Thugstaz ( C-Dogg aka CThaReal Dujko, P-Nut and Nasty ) from Celje with the best battle song Vojna part.1 ever in Slovenian Rap history. CThaReal continued a solo career and made 10 albums all together and is the only Slovenian Rap artist that made an English Rap album, He also got releases in the U.S.A. on Global attack mixtapes vol.6 with the song Elevated ( 4 Seasons of Rap - 2012. ) CThaReal is also one of the best freestyle MCs in Europe and is still undefeated in freestyle.. About the same time a first compilation of Slovenian Hip Hop artists was released at Radyoyo: Za narodov Blagor – 5'00" of fame, including various unknown rappers, that were just yet to pop up onto the scene.
In 2001, the first freestyle rap championship was organized, launching 6pack Čukur, who placed 2nd, into the mainstream stars. The competition became a tradition and it's held every second year since then. The next year rap duo Murat & Jose released V besedi je moč becoming again of the ultimate rap albums in Slovenia and Southern Europe. Following championship was said to be the best. It spawned 2 champions, both releasing albums as an awards through Nika Records. N'toko, an alternative rapper released it the same year as he became champion, 2003, Trkaj's album followed the next.
2004–2006 were the most productive years, spawning more albums then all years before that together. Though the quality oscillated from album to album, mostly because of the unofficial releases and noting that the demo scene produced better tracks, some new names like Eyeceeou and Mrigo came up with excellent material, both with newly founded indie labels. In 2008 "Denile" released his first mixtape Fixtape vol.1, shortly after in 2010 he released Fixtape vol.2, the mixtapes are just worm ups for the real thing, the album that will be droping in late 2012.
Bulgaria during the late '90s saw the formation of the crews "Amnistia", X-team, Sunrise Project, DRS, Nokaut, Sensei, Blackmouth and RBL, Junior MC, La Boss, People From Ghetto, Mechoka, Ka$ino, Rap Nation, 187, Fars, Logopet, Kingsize, SoundTrack, Dinasty, Atila, Ragga One and "Rubber Heads" (Gumeni Glavi) the latter of which included Misho Shamara, Dreben G, Konsa and more. "Rubber Heads"'s label was called R'nB and was very popular. They even had their own clothing line. In 2000 another Bulgarian hip hop label was created and it was called Sniper Records, including famous names like Spens, DJ Stancho, Slim, Shosho and more. A lot of hardcore rap is produced in Bulgaria from bands like Nokaut, Sunrise Project, RBL, X-Team, Almozz Niggaz, Kingsize and many more. Now, in 2011, the Bulgarian hip hop is on a higher level. Misho Shamara a.k.a. Big Sha, one of the greatest Bulgarian hip hop musicians, made a song with the US legend Snoop Dogg and the Bulgarian pop-star LilAna. After the song with Snoop Dogg, Big Sha worked on a project with DMX, and LilAna have songs with Akon and Flo Rida. On March 31, 2010, Big Sha and his buddy, DJ Swed Lu, "delivered" The King of Crunk Lil Jon to the Bulgarian fans. Meanwhile, Sarafa from RAPTON Records recorded songs with The Outlawz, Ja Rule, and Naughty by Nature. Gerata from LC records
Romanian hip hop The main theme is politics, based on anti-system protest, and social, underlining the rich-poor gap and the low quality of the new, post-Communist, enriched class. Bucharest is the main center, since most of other bands/rappers from outside the city would still come there for recording.
Once dominated by BUG Mafia (Bucharest Underground Mafia), the market is currently the fiefdom of Paraziţii. An important moment in Romanian hip hop history was the support Morometzii gave to Traian Băsescu and his centrist political alliance during 2004, through the anti-system (in fact against the then-ruling Social Democratic Party) songs România, trezeşte-te! (English Romania, wake up!) and În luptǎ cu Puterea (English Fighting the Power).
2006 was a great year for Romanian hip hop, especially for the underground scene. Independent labels such as Hades Records and Facem Records finally got out of the box with albums that soon reached stores at a national level. Also a big step in the evolution of Romanian hip hop was the Summer Jam 2006 hip hop festival that took place in Bucharest. Created and supervised by Hades Records/Hades Events, Summer Jam was the first of its kind and size in Romania, uniting more than 20 artists and bands over 2 days of show, including DJ contests, breakdance shows, streetball contests and a lot of high quality hip hop. The producers of the show said that much more is to be expected for 2007's edition. Some notable artists include:BUG Mafia, Parazitii, R.A.C.L.A., La Familia and Grasu' XXL. Romanian hip hop artists Parazitii have worked with major names in hip hop, artists like: Raekwon, Shabazz the Disciple, and Dutch rapper Cilvaringz.Gerata
The first more or less known pioneers of Russian rap was a group called Malchishnik (Мальчи́шник), but the recognition of the rap genre came with the rise of a Moscow team Bad B., with their album "Naletchiki Bad B." being released in 1994.
The first Russian rap artists to have achieved commercial success: Kasta (Каста), Bad Balance/Bad.B (Плохой Баланс/Бад Би), Detsl (Децл), and the Belarusian artist Seryoga (Серега), who combined original rap with the native Russian satiric song genre chastushka which some critics consider a new branch in the rap genre: rap-chastushka. Although most of rap fans believe he does not belong to the Russian rap scene, the musician won the nomination for best Russian rap in 2005 on the RMA (Russian Music Awards).
The same way as in the US, the scene is divided into "East Side" and "West Side" style, again, where the "West Siders" brag about money cars and girls, the "East Siders" rap about everything else. The most commercial "West Side" style rap produced is Timati, being the first Russian rapper to work with American producer Scott Storch and American rappers Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Xzbit, Busta Rhymes, and Diddy. If you ask any self-respecting hip-hop fan however, any association of Timati to hip-hop may end in violence as there is a strong opinion that his purely commercial style has no place in hip-hop.
The most popular Russian hip-hop artist today is Vasiliy Mikhailovitch Vakulenko Васи́лий Миха́йлович Вакуле́нко under different aliases representing his multiple personalities. Basta (Баста) being his earliest alias is the one with heart, bringing a lot of sincere feelings in the lyrics. Noggano (Ноггано) – his second invention is a character with a lot of references to controlled substances, gang activities presented in a twisted style of a mastermind with a dark sense of humor. N1NT3ND0 (Нинтендо) – his latest is a character taking the vulgarity and gang activities to the max.
Ukrainian hip hop (Ukra-hop) is a major part of the Ukrainian music scene.
Although some groups, like the crew Tanok Na Maydani Kongo ("The Dance on the Congo Square"), rap in the Ukrainian language (specifically the Slobozhanshchyna dialect) and mix hip hop with indigenous Ukrainian elements, many others do not, preferring instead to rap in Russian.
In 2005, Ukraine's entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest, GreenJolly's "Together We Are Many", was also the unofficial anthem of the recent Orange Revolution. Eurovision demanded the lyrics to be changed for the contest (because it did not correspond to contests rules due to political content). Also this song was remade by Polish hip hop artists.
Albanian hip-hop refers to hip-hop in the Albanian language and is one of the most prominent in Europe. Albanian Hip Hop refers to artists from Albania, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro as the Albanian language is spoken in the whole of Albania and Kosovo and in some parts of Macedonia and Montenegro. The term Albanian Hip Hop also refers to other Albanian-inhabited places such as the United States, Germany and United Kingdom.
Rappers such as 2DIE4,Noizy, 2po2, Unikkatil and Tingulli 3nt which is a group, were among the first to open the Albanian Hip Hop scene. Unikkatil with TBA which is the groups that he is affiliated with and Tingulli 3nt later became rivals, both dominating the Hip Hop scene. Rappers such as 2po2 then went on to help Unikkatil and made songs for their rivals. Other performers are Mc Kresha, Lyrical Son, Kaos, Skillz, Ritmi i Rruges, 2DIE4,G-Bani, Etno Engjujt and others have striven to portray the real Albanian attitude of today.
Some of the most known performers are: DUDA, BIMBIMMA, Akrepi, Ergen, REAL - 1, Unikkatil, 2po2, Tingulli 3nt, Noizy, Big basta, Capital T, Etno Engjujt, Jeton TBA, Skillz, Stresi, Mc Kresha, Lyrical Son, DMC aka Babloki. Current successful mainstream rappers include: Unikkatil, Noizy, 2po2, Jeton TBA, Capital T, MC Kresha, Lyrical Son, Etno Engjujt, DMC aka Babloki etc.
With rising stars such as Durim Kid, Varrosi, Lil Koli who are members of the OTR group and UniK Dibra, who currently lives in the UK and has recorded and published a numerous of Albanian songs, together with amazing songs of a mixture of the two languages, Albanian and English such as 'look into my eyes' bringing that unique style to the Albanian Hip Hop scene which has already been helped by the members of the OTR group who are originally UK based, London to be more specific. ACT Gang who are a group based in London, UK, who have worked with an ex member of OTR, published a music video in Albania and seemed promising for them to explode in the hip hop scene but nothing has been released since. Other Albanian groups that are based in the UK are Real Albanian Gangsters, Alboz For Life, Money Never Sleeps.
The biggest concert in the history of hip hop Albania - Kosovo, occurred in July 15, 2012 in Pristina Stadium, Unikkatil and TBA performed for 25,000 people. 25,000 people cheering for Unikkatil and TBA. The same year a French team try to help Albania hip hop kulture and they create and perform the first hip hop festival in Albania, with French and Albanian artists. This festival was in four cities Tirana, Elbasan, Shkodra and Korça.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hip hop is quite a new style of music for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it has nevertheless proven very popular. The majority of Bosnian and Herzegovinian rappers are from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Bosnian Muslim / Bosnian Croat dominated half of the country), although more and more are coming out of the Serb Republic. The vibrant underground scene has coalesced around several major portals on the Internet.
The most famous rapper in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Edo Maajka and others include Euro Lud, Frenkie, Hamza, Amon Ra, Sove, Dibidus etc. The most popular rap group in Bosnia and Herzegovina is CCC, Disciplinska Komisija with Edo Maajka as the leader of the group.
Due to the war in 1992–1995 (where many were seeking refuge in other European countries and the United States) many Bosnian and Herzegovinan Hip Hop artists are also spread out all around the world including the United States, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand etc.
Most famous rappers that live in the countries mentioned above are Cekic, Kum The Reper, Admalish, Kalil, Joki, Admian, Seik Ba, Prah, RNel, AzRim, Infuzija, SL93, RimaD, Daez, Swifftz, Damme, Nexter, Raport, Jala, Buba Corelli, Smayla, Kazna, Scena, Bocha, Makk, Priki, Magic Sone, Zuco etc. Bosnian hip hop is the most popular in the Balkans and guilty is on the Top of European hip hop. Bosnian hip hop is starting to be very popular in the youth of Bosnia its been featured in films like Summer in the Golden Valley putting Bosnian hip hop on the main stream on the Balkans and on featured films.
The earliest indications of the localized genre date back to 1987, though native language albums did not appear until the mid-1990s. Some of the most important early hip-hop groups in Greece were Terror-X-Crew (members: Αρτέμης, Ευθύμης, DJ ALX), FFC (FortiFied Concept) (members: Ρυθμοδαμαστής, DJ Everlast, Πετσούκης, plus many guests) that separated in 2005 and Razastarr (Nikolas, Odysseas). FF.C were formed in 1987, even though their first album was released in 1993, in Vyronas, Athens, Greece by Hip-Hop producer Dimitris Petsoukis (known also as Σκηνοθέτης – Skinothetis, Director), MC Kostas Kourmentalas (known as Ρυθμοδαμαστής – Rithmodamastis, Rythmtamer) and DJ Thomas Pitikakis (known also as DJ Everlast). FF.C was the first Greek Hip-Hop band mad together mad 7 albums. After the release of their last album in 2005, the band split, as Kostas Kourmentalas left FF.C and the musical scene in general. After that, Dimitris Petsoukis and Thomas Pitikakis together with Μυστήριο, Έκπτωτος Άγιος (Mysterio, Mystery), (Ekptotos Agios, Fallen Saint) and Παράξενος (Paraxenos, Stranger) formed the band Αντίξοες Παραγωγές (Antixoes Paragoges, Rough Productions).
Differentiation caused a lot of tension among the Greek hip-hop fans. Between the years of 1995–2000, there was a lot of conflict, relatively speaking. Things escalated from there when the Battle rap era in Greece began with the group ZN (Ζωντανοί Νεκροί – The Living Dead) that started dissing Active Member and other hip hop groups. ZN was composed of 5 members Taki Tsan, Midenistis, Charmanis, Ypochthonios & Katachthonios. They followed the Wu-Tang model and have been accused of biting the Wu-Tang Clan. They first released an EP and then a group album, followed by releasing solo albums. Their one and only album (due to feuding) as a group was "O Protos Tomos" (The First Volume) in 1997.
As American hip hop lyrics, as part of the gangsta rap genre, became more widely violent, so did international hip hop lyrics, and Greece was no exception. Rapping about guns, drugs, violence and sex became the norm. Hardcore Greek rap had swept the genre, and commercial hip hop followed suit.
Commercial hip-hop in Greece has become hugely successful, with acts like Imiskoumbria, TXC and Goin' Through blazing the trails. Imiskoumbria and Terror X Crew both were the first to have their records going gold. Goin' Through became a massive success after their last album, La Sagrada Familia, was granted gold status as of 2006. Goin' Through has also established Greece's big name hip-hop label, Family, where some other acts are signed. The label is a co-venture between the multinational hip hop label Def Jam Recordings and Universal Music Greece, being among the only foreign artists to have such a deal with Def Jam.
Besides the commercial/mainstream scene there is a huge list of underground artists and crews such as: Parontes, Ws aidw, Paremvoles, Spike69, Psychodrama07, Dagobah system, Under pressure, Kykneio Asma, Kalhas, Elephant phinix, Orthologistes, Dust Rhymes, Productive and many more..
The movement of hip hop culture in Cyprus has been looking quite bleak over the past couple of years. However there is some emerging underground hip hop uprising to the surface of light. One notable artist named Tony Jacobs, has begun climbing the ladder of international hip hop to bring out his message to the world.
Italian hip hop started in the early 1990s. One of the first hip hop crews to catch the attention of the Italian mainstream was Milan's Articolo 31, then and still today produced by Franco Godi, who had written the soundtrack to the animated TV series Signor Rossi in the 1970s. The European Music Office's report on Music in Europe claimed that, in general, hip hop from the south of Italy tends to be harder than that from the north. In the early '80s, hip-hop spread to Italy, alongside Jamaican raggamuffin, especially in centri sociali, alternative centers where several left-wing young people regularly meet. The first star, however, was Jovanotti, who used rapping in otherwise traditional Italian pop. Some of his tracks were however pure hip hop, e.g. "Il rap" which sampled Public Enemy's Chuck D.
Articolo 31 started out as a mainly East Coast rap-inspired hip hop duo, but changed to a more commercial style during their career and eventually evolved into a punk/pop/crossover group. Other important crews and rappers include Pescara's Lou X, Bologna's Camelz in Effect with their unforgettable early hit "Slega la Lega", Sangue Misto with their 1994 album SxM, the political crew 99 Posse whose music have influences from world music to trip-hop. Gangsta rap crews include Sa Razza, La Fossa from Sardinia and Flaminio Maphia from Rome. Probably the most famous Italian rappers apart from Articolo 31 are Sottotono from Varese, Esa a.k.a. El Presidente and his brother Yoshi Torenaga a.k.a. Tormento from Calabria, Neffa and Kaos One from Napoli, Piotta who represents Rome and became famous through an ironic interpretation of the coatto (The stereotypical Italian boy with an attitude) even if a lot of people find his tracks useless for the extension in the world of Italian hip-hop, Bassi Maestro and his crew Sano Business from Milan, Duplici, ATPC, Funk Famiglia and Tsu from Turin, Inoki and Joe Cassano representing Bologna with their crew PMC (Porzione Massiccia Crew) led before by Joe Cassano and from Inoki after Joe's death (1999) for cocaine overdose and with them the crew Teste Mobili and the group Uomini Di Mare (Fabri Fibra and Dj Lato). Caparezza is often referred to as the Italian Eminem because his records sold many copies from 2000 on, Caparezza is not just a rapper because in his music he mixes hip-hop, heavy metal, reggae, rock and techno. Frankie Hi-NRG is often referred to as the Italian Nas, since his rhymes are very complex and intellectual. Turi from Calabria and Colle Der Fomento from Rome are considered hardcore rappers by many. Italian hip-hop also has a tradition of political-minded lyrics, e.g. Isola Posse, Onda Rossa, 99 Posse and Assalti Frontali. Notable Italian beatmakers and deejays are Fritz Da Cat, Dj Shocca, Dj Rudy B, Ice One, Big Fish, Orly Sad, Don Joe, Dj Baro, Dj Inesha and the legendary Dj Double S. A lot of them formed the crew Alien Army with the intention to riunite the best hip-hop deejays in Italy.
There are also some crews rapping in the local dialects or languages, e.g. La Famiglia in napoletano; Sa Razza (partly) in Sardinian, Carnicats and DLH Posse that raps in Friulian, as well as in Italian. 99 Posse also use Italian as well as Neapolitan while La Pooglia Tribe and Sud Sound System rap in both Italian and dialect from the Puglia region. In the last few years, groups of the 90's not famous as the other ones like Cor Veleno, Brusco, Gli Inquilini and La Squadra from Rome, Club Dogo and Vacca from Milan, Co'Sang from Naples or L'altra Faccia del Sud or Stokka & Madbuddy from Palermo have emerged in the Italian hip-hop scene.
Republic of Macedonia
The Macedonian hip hop started in the 1980s in the then Socialist Republic of Macedonia, but experienced considerable growth after the declaration of independence of the Republic of Macedonia. One of the first critically acclaimed acts was the rock band Super Nova from Skopje which utilized rap music elements in some of its songs. The group recorded several rap music tracks for the music production branch of the Macedonian Radio-Television, including Hip-hop blues, Rap, Vero and others, some including pop, rock, funk, reggae or other elements. Part of the songs were in Macedonian language, while some were released in Serbo-Croatian for promotion across the wider former Yugoslav market. One of those songs was the anti-war themed Rapovanje. Its catchy rhyme "Bolje da se rapuje, nego da se ratuje" ("Better to do rapping, than to wage a war") made it very popular across the country in 1989. Currently, one of the notable underground hip hop performers and producers in the Republic of Macedonia is Vladimir Agovski-Ago from Skopje. He became involved in the Macedonian hip-hop scene since childhood as a very young b-boy in 1986. In the following year he formed a juvenile rap act called The Masters of Rap and recorded his first studio track in 1988. In 1991 he joined the band Instant Beat, which performed around the country and made recordings in the Macedonian Radio-Television production, which were never officially released. Later, he formed another group The Most Wanted which in 1995 released the first Macedonian hardcore rap album, called "Judgment Day". After the group disbanded in 1996, he continued to work under the name Temnata strana (The Dark Side) and he founded the first Macedoninan hip-hop label, called "Dolina na senkite" abbreviated "DNS" (Valley of the Shadows) to promote his own works and other upcoming Macedonian hip hop acts as well. The group Čista okolina was formed in 1989 by joining several previously existing juvenile rap bands, and later it rose to one of the most prominent hip hop acts in the country. Čista okolina released the album "Noviot aspekt na starata škola" (The New Aspect of the Old School) in the spring of 1996. During its existence it also released a song together with the prominent alternative rock group Last Expedition. One of the Čista okolina's former members Vele Solunčev later became a frontman of the mixed-style music group appropriately named Mosaique, because it combined various elements such as hip hop, jazz fusion, alternative rock and ethno-jazz. One of the most successful hip hop acts in the country is SAF (Sakam Afro Frizura) formed in 1993. It consists of the emcees Smilen Dimitrov and Mitko Gaštarovski aka Pikisipi, as well as the band's backing DJ and turntablist, Goce Trpkov. In 1996 they released their well-known anti-drug abuse theme called Miss Stone. Its title is a pun between the historical person Miss Stone, the US missionary who met Jane Sandanski in Macedonia in the 1900s, and the phrase stoned. As the group became critically acclaimed, in the following year they started a music TV show called Hiphop teza. They released their debut album titled Safizam in 2001 and played a promotional concert with the prominent US hip hop band Das EFX as a support act. Prominent Macedonian hip hop artists in the 2000s include: Da Džaka Nakot, Legijata, Klan Istok, Edinstvena opcija, Puka kozmetika, Green Out, Speeding Bee, Str2 and many others. The early 1990s saw the emergence of many Macedonian pop-rap artists influenced by the then-popular MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. These artists included for example the female solo singer Ena Veko, who released the LP "Bubački i gradski dzverki", and the duo Lastovica which consisted of Robert Sazdov and Vlado Janevski, who later became a solo pop singer and represented Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998. Behind most of these successful pop-rap acts was the prominent Macedonian composer and producer Toše Pop Simonov. The group Nulta Pozitiv was formed in parallel. Gradually they went more and more mainstream and became popular across the country, especially after recording the rap track nicknamed after the famous Macedonian folk song "Otvori go Pendžerčeto" ("Open the Window"). It featured an unconventional refrain for a rap song sang by the notable folk music singer Mirko Mitrevski. They released an album titled Transfuzija. Later emerged another pop-rap artist Kristijan Gabrovski from Prilep nicknamed Risto Bombata after Afrika Bambaataa. He and his backing band became very popular across the country for their mix of rap, pop-rock and pop-folk. In the mid-1990s an offshoot of Nulta Pozitiv was the more harder-sounding group named Attack which released the famous song "Atentatot na Kiro" after the assassination-attempt on the then-President of the Republic of Macedonia Kiro Gligorov in 1995. Later, one of the former Nulta Pozitiv members, Darko Dimitrov rose to a prominent Macedonian composer and producer. Among others, he also worked with the late 1990s/early 2000s pop-rap artists such as Vrčak and Ugro. One of the first prominent Macedonian rap music festivals was the so-called "Rap'n'Roll" fest which was held in the early 1990s in MKC, the Youth Cultural Centre in Skopje, followed by many others. Currently Macedonia hosts many hip hop festivals featuring both domestic and foreign performers. A hip hop clubbing scene also exists. Macedonian hip hop performers also exist in the ethnic Macedonian diaspora, in countries such as the United States and Australia. The group Curse ov Dialect from Melbourne features the ethnic Macedonian member nicknamed Vulk Makedonski, and often incorporates elements of traditional Macedonian music. 
Portuguese hip hop (Hip hop português) mostly known as Hip Hop Tuga is the Portuguese variety of hip hop music, although different because it is mixed with African music from Lusophone Africa and reggae. It is often performed by African-Portuguese, descendants from African immigrants that came to Portugal after the independence of the former African colonies. The past 5 years have been productive and names such as Dealema, Mind Da Gap, Greguz du Shabba, Valete, Sam The Kid (rapper & producer), Boss AC, Micro, Matozoo and Bomberjack gathered many followers in the underground subculture. Graffiti artist's names include, among others, Mosaik, Caos, Colman, Uber, Que? and Kayo. Portuguese rapper group 'DaWeasel' has also become significantly popular amongst Portuguese youths both nationally & internationally in establishing Portuguese Hip-Hop.
Serbian "hip hop" started in the early 80's, with the birth of b-boy crews and their battles which have spread over the country in no time. The first sound recording of the Serbian hip hop is the Degout EP by the band named The Master Scratch Band, which was released through Jugoton in the year 1984. – 5-tracker presenting b-boy electro-breakbeat tracks with a bit of rapping. In the late 80's, bands such are Budweiser, Green Kool Posse, Who Is The Best and Robin Hood started the first demo scene. The music spread slowly until 1995, when the first significant album was released: Da li imaš pravo? by Gru. This release marked the beginning of the first wave of Serbian hip hop, which reached its peak in 1997–98, when many new groups started to break out from the underground: Voodoo Popeye, Full Moon, Straight Jackin, Sunshine, Bad Copy, Belgrade Ghetto, CYA, 187. Monteniggers, from Montenegro (at the time in a union with Serbia), were another popular rap group. Just as the scene was taking off, the flood of new talent slowed to a trickle, probably due to the economic effects of the Kosovo War of 1999, which resulted in only a few hip hop albums released in 1999–2001. However, in 2002 the silence was shown to be temporary with the founding of the Bassivity label, which made Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian hip hop widely available in record stores. Their first release, V.I.P. – Ekipa Stigla, was one of the two albums which marked the beginning of the second wave of Serbian hip hop. The other was BSSST...Tišinčina by the Belgrade group Beogradski Sindikat. The same group also released the highly controversial political single Govedina in late 2002, which greatly aided the popularisation of hip hop in Serbia.
Since 2002, Bassivity Music has released many more records and Beogradski Sindikat have followed up their debut with 2005's Svi Zajedno, having founded their own label, Prohibicija, due to their dissatisfaction with Automatik Records. One of the group's members, Škabo, has also released several solo albums.
Since 2007, the oldest independent label in Serbia, Take It Or Leave It records(established 1992), and their sub-label Rap Cartel released almost every rap album during this time. First rap CD published by Rap Cartel was a compilation "Rap Cartel-Pablo je pao vol.1" Main rap singers known and published by Rap Cartel label are :SHA, Bata Barata ex Shorty, Monogamija, Bitcharke na travi, Bvana iz lagune, Hartmann, J COOK, M.A.X., Prti Beegee, Day Who, De Niro, VOX and many less known artists. This label also published first licence album from America, CD HAVIKK-Rhymme son(South Central cartel).
Spanish hip hop music began in the late 1980s. Break dance crews used mainly American recordings, while local rappers practised for very small underground audiences. A few rock bands, like Os Resentidos, Kortatu and TDK tried and recorded some approaches to hip hop music, but kept most of their hard rock background.
In 1989 Troya Dscs&Rcrs label released the first Spanish hip hop LP: Madrid Hip Hop, a compilation of four bands from the province of Madrid: DNI, Estado Crítico, Sindicato del Crimen and QSC. The record presented two cuts of each band.
Later in 1989, Ariola major label tried a new push to establish some hip hop stars, with a new compilation of Madrilene hip hop music: Rappin Madrid, introduced more soloists and groups, like MC Randy & D.J. Jonco.
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Belgian hip hop music has a few rappers stemming from Africa. Belgium, like France, controlled African countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Rwanda, and Burundi until the early 1960s. Like in France, immigrants from these countries started to study and live in Belgium.
The Belgian hip hop scene started in the late 1980s with a U.S.-based techno/hip hop group called Technotronic. In the group was an emcee named Ya Kid K from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who later led the group into international fame with hits like "Pump up the Jam" and "Shake tTat Body". In 1990, she also joined the group Hi-Tek 3 who were heard on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie soundtrack.
However, the first major pop rapper from Belgium was Benny B, who had a very mainstream and commercial sound. According to the European Music Office's report on Music in Europe, this was the first of many pop acts that helped inspire a backlash and the creation of an underground hip hop scene .
Also in the late 1990s in the Walloon south of the country, French speaking/rapping Starflam was the biggest name in hip hop. In the Flemish north Dutch speaking/rapping groups like 't Hof van Commerce, St Andries MC's, ABN were popular and De Feesters (Flemish gangsta rap) rapping in their regional dialects.
France has one of the most established hip hop scenes in Europe. By 1982, a number of hip hop radio stations had appeared, including Rapper Dapper Snapper, and the future star DJ Dee Nasty made his first appearance. That same year saw the first major hip hop concert, the New York City Rap Tour, sponsored by Europe 1 and featuring Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmixer DST, Fab 5 Freddy, Mr Freeze and the Rock Steady Crew. Dee Nasty's Paname City Rappin', released in 1984, was the first French hip hop record.
Similar to Britain, the popularity of French hip hop has increased dramatically over the past decade, with artists such as Assassin, Lunatic, IAM or Suprême NTM all achieving some amount of success in their own country. Other notable artists include Booba, Sinik, Diam's and Rohff. A select few artists have also gained worldwide popularity, such as Saïan Supa Crew who appeared on The World According to RZA – a compilation of worldwide hip hop created by RZA. One of the most popular French rappers is Senegalese-born MC Solaar, who is known for his complex and poetic lyrics. Currently France is nr 1 on the best hip hop of Europe list.
German Hip Hop began as an underground music scene in 1982 when JaJaJa recorded "Katz Rap" in Ata Tak studios in Düsseldorf. "Katz Rap" by JaJaJa (1982, Ata Tak – WR 14) was the first rap song by a female on record in Europe. JaJaJa toured with a large graffiti canvas she spray painted with the band's name and a giant reptile/dragon/dinosaur. JaJaJa's "I Am An Animal" video released in 1983 featured breakdancing youths costumed as dinosaurs.
Traditional music, from immigrants that migrated from Northern Africa, Turkey, Morocco, etc., mixed with the American hip hop scene may have contributed to Germany's hip hop music. The Neue Deutsche Welle band Fehlfarben released a song called, "Militürk," acknowledging and inspired by the presence of Turks in Germany.
Film played a major impact in the beginning of the musical genre. Films such as, Beat Street and Wild Style, formed the first wave of hip hop fans. As a result, German youth began to graffiti and break dance which lead to underground hip hop music and development. In particular, one music group, Advance Chemistry sparked a huge interest in speaking out for the youth of Germany, especially the immigrants. Moreover, more and more people loved the hip hop scene in Germany until it reached its peak in 2001. After that time period of rapping about life in Germany, "New Schoolers" rapped about crime and violence. Till this day, hip hop plays a significant role in Germany's music scene. Germany produced the well-known Optik Army and its frontman Kool Savas as well as several other rap combos like Aggro Berlin, Die Fantastischen Vier, Ersguterjunge, Fettes Brot or Amstaff. Several solo artists like Bushido, Sido, Fler, Samy Deluxe and Azad.
The Osdorp Posse was the first successful rap-crew in the Netherlands. Osdorp Posse's frontman, who goes by the name Def P, is well known for his political awareness and social analyses. The song "Origineel Amsterdams" ended up in the top of the charts, a lucrative mainstream-career was just around the corner now. Instead, O.P realized that credibility lasts longer than fame. So they avoided selling out, and remained loyal to a smaller scene.
One particularly proficient Dutch-language rapper is Extince. Other notable acts include Ali B (who has been featured on other artists' tracks, most significantly with Marco Borsato on the song "Wat zou je doen?" for the charity War Child) who achieved solo success with "Leipe mocro flavour". Together with his nephew Yes-R, he made an international remix of "Ghetto" together with Akon.; the duo Lange Frans & Baas B with their patriotic but introspective "Het Land Van"; and Yes-R but these people have got the biggest hits, but not the best rap skills (wordplay, "flow" which means a rhyme schedule that sounds good together with the beat, originality). Most notable for rap skills in the Netherlands these days is the rap group "Opgezwolle" (rapper Sticky Steez, rapper Phreako Rico and DJ Delic). Rapper Jawat, won the "Grote prijs van Nederland" 2006, and has a very original and unique style. The Netherlands has got a fast-growing "underground scene" and rapping in Dutch is very popular. Currently the Netherlands is the nr 2 on the list best hip hop of Europe.
Several Dutch rappers have worked with some of the biggest names in hip hop like: Nas, The Outlawz, Sean Price, Heltah Skeltah, Scram Jones, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Akon, Redman, Method Man, Rza, Gza, Ol Dirty Bastard, LL Cool J, Run DMC, Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Rick Ross, Wu Tang Clan, French rapper Sefyu, Romanian hip hop group Parazitii.
Dutch rapper Cilvaringz is part of Wu Tang Killa Bees, an affiliate group of The Wu Tang Clan. Salah Edin is the world's best selling rapper in Arabic language, although he mostly raps Dutch. His beats are being produced by Dr. Dre's righthand producer Focus....
The Swiss hip hop scene began in the early nineties, much like French, German and Italian rap. Early Swiss German rappers started rapping in English, but after the bilingual track "Murder by Dialect" by P-27 featuring Black Tiger, rappers switched to their native Swiss German dialects. Rappers from the French-speaking part (where the traditional dialects died out in most parts) and from the Italian-speaking part (where most people mix dialects and Standard Italian freely) only rap in the standard languages.
The European Music Office's report on Music in Europe claimed that Switzerland's hip hop scene is "particularly innovative and advanced", featuring Unik Records (the first European indie rap label)
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- Hip-Hop Radio rasik.de
- GangdoMoinho – HipHop Tuga – Hip Hop Tuga e Crioulo, downloads, videoclips, albuns, mixtapes, entrevistas, concertos, beefs/battles, novidades e desporto online (Sportv)
- HipHop musik
- Croatian hiphop
- http://euhiphop.com - All about the European HipHop