Serbian hip hop
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2009)|
|Serbian hip hop|
|Stylistic origins||Hip hop|
|Typical instruments||Turntable, synthesizer, rapping, drum machine, sampler, guitar|
Serbian hip hop refers to all genres of hip hop music in the Serbian language. The term is also sometimes used to refer to any hip hop music made by Serbs, including instrumental hip hop, as well as rap songs by members of the Serbian diaspora, often in languages other than Serbian. Greatest Serbian hip hop group is Beogradski Sindikat along with others like VIP, Sunshine, CYA . Most popular as solo artists are Marchelo, Skabo, Reksona, Juice, Gru, Struka, Ajs Nigrutin etc.
Serbian hip hop first started in the early 1980s, with the birth of b-boy crews. The first Serbian Hip Hop record release was the Degout EP by The Master Scratch Band, which was released by Jugoton in 1984.But the Hip Hop Scene in Serbia was not open and popularized until the Demo bend of teenagers Badvajzer (Budweiser) have not arrived in 1987 and became extremely popular.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, bands such as CYA, Green Kool Posse (Sunshine crew), Who Is The Best, Robin Hood, Double 1, Bez Kaucije, Crno-Bela Veza and Jedva Smo Se Skupili came into being all together starting the first Hip Hop scene in Serbia and Ex Yugoslavia.
The music spread slowly until 1995, until Da li imaš pravo? by Gru was released, marking 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: CYA, Ila, Voodoo Popeye, Sunshine, Bad Copy and first horror rap underground group in Serbia Sekcija Mraka. 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.
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.
In 2003 Marčelo's debut album De Facto, also released on the Bassivity label, came out to both public and critical acclaim and he was branded as the voice of a new generation. In 2004 CYA's fourth album Bolje Vreme was released on the BK Records and it was one of the best Serbian album ever.
Since then, Bassivity Music has released a couple more records before their transformation to a production company in 2007. 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. Despite the success of his debut album, Marčelo was unable to settle his differences with Bassivity label, and at the end of 2005, appropriately marking the end of the second wave, released his second album Puzzle Shock! (Multimedia Records).
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).
Third wave is starting of RnB in Serbia in 2006. Third wave artist such as Elitni odredi, Cvija or Rasta arrived to the scene as soon as the Bassivity era was over. They stand for more commercialized kind of hip hop than their "ancestors", kids like what they're doing and some of their hits like Samo Da Si Samnom (Elitni odredi), Moja Želja Si Ti (Cvija) and Superstar (Rasta) have become clubbing classics throughout cities in Serbia.
But there is also a new wave of rap as some would say real rap or hip hop that is more intelligent, more about real life and about growing up on the streets or about political themes that is becoming more and more popular and can be heard on every street or any city in Serbia. Some of them are Marlon Brutal (New wave of street rap) with hits such as "Favela", "Blok Sajmište", "Brate mnogo variš" and "Beli rep", F4 (Škabo (BS), Marlon Brutal, Dj Iron (BS) and Žobla) with hits such as "Rep i Grad" and "Bejbe Bejbe", THC (Stefan and Borko, New wave of street rap with hits such as "Trenerka Stil" and "Radi Šta Te Plaća",Sick Touch (New wave of street rap) with hits such as "Ma Da!", "Prepoznaj", "Sa bolesne strane grada" and "Uživam u Radu", Sale Tru who is known for bringing back G Funk with hits such as "U Kraju", "Chill Sine", "Tralalala" and "Ic ol gud Bejbe Bejbe", One Shot (Rolex, Mali Mire and Zli Toni) (New wave of street rap) with hits such as "Air max i 20 eura", "Problem" and "Sve vaše nove fore moje su stare ustvari" and they are making a change in Serbian Hip Hop similar as the first wave, they are breaking from underground and becoming popular not just in Serbia but in the whole Balkan region.
In this third wave we have one new record label started by some underground artists, Ltdfm Music (Live To Die For My Music) launched to help artists to record and publish their own work. With professional music studio, video production and event team this label has the potential to emerge as the leading story of Serbian Hip Hop Culture. Under this label are next group and artists Biro (Stiven Drama, Code, Choda, Coa), KG Odred (Shot, Smokee, Princip, Aprill O'Neal, Fettus, Verbal, Dj Sajlent), Lider, 2Bad (Van, Fat Nack), Mlata (SickTouch), Choda Optimus (SickTouch), Sale RDZ (SickTouch), Bad Voice, Aliana, Zhozi Zho, Twokey, Smoke Mardeljano, Coa DNK, L.I.F.E. Long (NY-USA).
In the late 90's many Serbs emigrated to Canada and the United States. Being influenced by the hip hop scene back home, and the one in their new home, some started to create their own music. The first act to gain fans was Illuminati X (Then known as Street Team and sometimes Balkan Beasts) Illuminati X took samples from back home and created modern beats. They released their debut mixtape in 2005 called Balkan Beasts Vol.1 that also featured Serbian-Canadian, London based rapper, Crood, and an American-Bosnian group from St.Louis called Checkmate Crew, which sold thousands of copies throughout Southern Ontario. Illuminati X released their debut album in the summer of 2009 during Vidovdan Serb Fest in Niagara Falls, Ontario, This album was a free give away and hundreds of CDs were shipped to Serbs in Kosovo. In total thousands of CDs were given out for free, and another 6000 were downloaded. Illuminati X has also opened for such acts as Da Band's Chopper Young City, Jadakiss, Danny Fernandes, Karl Wolf, and Saukrates, as well as large Serbian acts such as Beogradski Sindikat, and V.I.P. Following Illuminati X came Filip Filipi, formally known as Sin. Filip released his first mixtape called, DJ Vlad Presents: Mixtape Vol. 1 which sold over 12,000 units independently in 2005 and is still the highest selling Canadian mixtape ever. Sin rose to success shortly after working with many Serbian artists, and also American ones such as Tom Gist, Cam'Ron, Jay Bezel, Lil' Wayne, and Gucci Mane. His hit single Boom feat. T-Pain was chosen for the Top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance?, which in total had over 14 million viewers worldwide.
There are many established Serbian rappers hailing from the Serb communities in Austria, Germany, and Sweden. One of the most famous, Toni der Assi, hails from Munich and often raps in the Serbian language and about topics concerning Serbian politics and society. In Vienna, "Ortaks", a rap group made up of young Serbian youths, has grown in popularity within the German hip hop scene, playing shows in Vienna and Zurich, Switzerland. The group is characterized by its incorporation of Serbian slang in their songs, and an anti-NATO political stance.
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