Romanian hip hop
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Romanian hip hop first emerged in 1982, along with the break-dancing movement which become very popular in the 1980s. However, Romanian hip hop was developed in the early 1990s, when American rappers hit the European charts. Most notable Romanian hip hop artists come from Bucharest, Romania's capital and largest city. The genre is currently growing in popularity in Europe.
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was the main precursor of Romanian hip hop. Liberalization made the import of foreign hip hop tapes much more easier. An underground market of tape exchanges among teens started flourishing in the early 90s. From just listening to hip hop to making hip hop there was only a small step. The first Romanian hip hop group was Vorbire Directă (Direct Speech) founded in late 1992, their first song being released in 1993 on UniPlus Radio. However, the first hip hop album was released only in 1995 by R.A.C.L.A. and was called Rap-Sodia efectului defectului (Defect Effect Rap-sody). Names such as Parazitii, B.U.G. Mafia, M&G, Renegatii, Da Hood Justice, Delikt, Dublu Sens, Morometzii and countless others started appearing between 1993 and 1995. Some of this early groups are still active today. The first songs were about politics, the struggle of life in post-communist Romania and crimes. The first real hip hop concert in Romania was called Rap Attack and was held at "Ion Creanga" theatre in 1995.
The divergence between east coast hip hop and west coast hip hop was soon imported into Romania with the creation of the Cartel ("Cartelul") representing the west coast with groups like B.U.G. Mafia, La Familia, Il-Egal, Dana Marijuana, Don Baxter and of RANS - "The Cry of National Agony - Syndicate" ("Răcnetul Agoniei Naționale - Sindicat") representing the east coast with groups like R.A.C.L.A., Paraziții, Da Hood Justice, Ghetto Dacii, Delikt. However, this conflict was short lived and by the end of the 90s there was peace among hip hop artists in Romania.
The most notable songs released in this period were "Pantelimonu' Petrece" and "Hoteluri" by B.U.G. Mafia in 1996 and 1997, "A vorbi e ușor" by Parazitii in 1997, "Cei care te calcă pe cap" and "Gara de Nord" by R.A.C.L.A. in 1997 and 1998 respectively.
1998 and 1999 brought a much better sound to Romanian hip hop due to competing recording studios. Albums such as "De cartier" (Hood-like) by B.U.G. Mafia, "Nicăieri nu-i ca acasă" (There's no place like home) by La Familia and especially "Nici o problemă" (Not a problem) by Parazitii had a far better sound quality then anything previously released.
The first hip hop music video in Romania was B.U.G. Mafia's "Lumea e a mea" (The World is mine) in 1998 just before the founding of Romania's first TV music channel. Even with a music channel, the National Council of Audio and Video censored or even banned lots of hip hop music videos, starting with Parazitii's "Bagabonții 99".
Since the turn of the millennium, even though they received little radio airplay, B.U.G. Mafia and Paraziții have earned a cult status among Romanians, and they are still popular to this day. Another popular band who reached fame levels similar to B.U.G. Mafia and Paraziții is C.T.C.. Towards the end of the 2000s, a new wave of rappers such as Guess Who, Grasu XXL, Spike, Cabron, Maximilian, Tranda, K-Pone and Nane rose to prominence, some of them dominating the charts. More recently, in 2015, trap music was introduced in Romania by bands such as Șatra B.E.N.Z. or Golanii. Initially, Şatra B.E.N.Z. received intense criticism from hip-hop fans because of the perceived similarity of their musical style to manele, but the band has slowly attracted a cult status similar to that of B.U.G. Mafia, Paraziții and C.T.C., especially after the release of their second album in 2017 and Killa Fonic's debut mixtape in 2016, which propelled him to national stardom and being the most recognizable member of the group.
- "Primul concurs national de breakdance, Discoteca Club CH Iasi 1983.wmv". YouTube. 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
- "What'S The Deal With Romanian Hip-Hop? | Vice United States". Vice.com. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2014-02-25.