Ukrainian hip hop
Ukrainian hip hop, also known as Ukra-hop or Ukr-hop is a major part of the Ukrainian music scene. Refers to all genres of hip hop music in the Ukrainian language. The term Ukr-hop is also sometimes used to refer to any hip hop music made by Ukrainians, including instrumental hip hop, as well as rap songs by members of the Ukrainian diaspora.
In Ukraine hip hop began to develop in 1990s. In 1989 started their activities two biggiest hip hop groups at that time - TNMK and V.U.Z.V. The pioneers of Ukrainian hip hop were TNMK (Kharkiv), V.U.Z.V (Kiev), Osnovnyy Pokaznyk (Luts'k), Tartak (Lviv) and GreenJolly (Ivano-Frankivs'k). At the end of the 1990s and beginning of the 2000s audience considered Kharkiv and Lviv as the main center of the Ukra.hop subculture. Many groups successfully performed at festivals such as Chervona Ruta and Tavriyski Ihry. At the mid-2000s a lot of underground bands and artists from another cities in Ukraine began to appear and became popular: DaHok (Drohobych), Zахідна Коаліція (Stryi), Kryzhyk (Uman), Sheksta (Stryi), Sirius MC (Kalush) and Freel (Kiev).
In 2005, Ukraine's entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest, GreenJolly's "Together We Are Many", was also the unofficial anthem of the 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.
In 2008 hip hop group LEZO released their fourth studio album, Gostroslovy (Ukrainian: Гострослови). Many critics consider it one of the best in Ukrainian hip-hop industry. The same year KyLЯ and RYLEZ created group Tulym - one of the most successful Ukrainian boom bap group.
June 19, 2014, PVNCH presented their new album - Golodnyy (Ukrainian: Голодний, translation: Hungry). According to voting results Golodnyy was named the best hip-hop album of 2014. April 18, 2015, Tulym from Kiev had a concert with legendary hip-hop band from New York City - Onyx in Sofia, Bulgaria.
A rising new star of Ukrainian origin self proclaimed "Nazaren tha Prophet" (Nazar Kotovych) has been rewriting Ukrainian rap history in the United States. Writing and rapping since 1997 the artist performs and records in four different languages mixing them together. Debut Album "Birth Of The Nazaren" came out in 2012. He is due to release a very politically charged album in 2016 titled "Partec Mendacii" and another one in the beginning of 2017. This artist is thought to make a real buzz the rap critics say "in the up coming years he will put Ukrainian hip-hop on the level of its predecessors and in the public view of the world".
Musically, Ukrainian hip hop is heavily influenced by Jamaican reggae and Ukrainian folk music, resulting a very tuneful and mellow sound, which makes it quite different from both Russian and American counterparts.