A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece - Wishevoke

A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece

Rap achieves what no other music genre has achieved in recent years: become big, find its way into youth culture and produce productions that are in no way inferior to their counterparts in America or England. The little ones may not know the lyrics to their songs Madonna or have no idea what it means Pet Shop Boysbut they know the lyrics to his songs by heart 6ix9ine and Greek rappers you haven’t even heard of (but who are “scanning” on YouTube and Spotify).

On the occasion of the first collection of new wave Greek rap, which will be released just before Christmas Feel wellthe people who collect the material and edit it with great care told us a few words about the Greek rap phenomenon that has long dominated the mainstream – and where are you… It was the day the video “Hustle” was filmed Wizzel Badazz, that we photographed on set.

Rap is the sound of today, you can see it by the hits around the world, by the millions of subscribers, that RapCaviar on Spotify and Migos are considered the “Beatles of today”. What I notice is that lately the audience in the stores where I’m invited to play is very young, maybe 16 years old.

“The compilation is a mixtape, which is the standard term for me in rap. “I’ve been listening to rap music for many years, grew up with mixtapes and I like to say that,” says o Kostis Nikiforakis, one of two Black Athenas collaborating on the compilation. “It contains today’s sounds, strong tracks, mainly from Athens, so it’s an Athenian street mixtape with artists who are well known and have stature in Greek music and rap, but also some very young ones – there’s a beatmaker, who is 15 years old! It follows the same logic as November 2016 Tribes of Athens, with more club sounds from Athens. In other words, it contained many types of music and rap, whereas now we’re focusing exclusively on rap, since Black Athena was more identified with rap from 2016 to today anyway. The entire mixtape has the logic of a radio show.

Rap is the sound of today, you can see that by the hits around the world, by the millions of subscribers that have RapCaviar on Spotify and by the fact that RapCaviar is on Spotify Migos are considered “the Beatles of today”. What I’ve noticed lately is that the audience in the stores where I’m invited to play is very young, maybe 16 years old. The shocking thing is that until two years ago Greek men and women had no idea about dancing and suddenly I see 17 year old girls twerking. Rap is now also the sound in Greece.

Saturday night I played at Crust and had the 15 year old producer we have in the collection play a half hour test. He went up at 11:30 a.m., started playing to people who had come just to see him, and panicked. He was so good and all the kids were dancing and rapping, they knew the words to all the songs, I’ve never seen that before.

A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece Facebook Twitter
Never before has a musical genre had such a strong current in Greece. What’s happening is out of the blue and, if you exclude heavy metal and its offshoots, is unprecedented. Photo: Filippos Lemonis/LIFO

We comment on the dynamism and mass of this music, which manages to fill wide spaces without any advertising in traditional media, has millions of views on YouTube, is listened to almost exclusively by young people and artists aged 18, 19 and 20 has . Never before has a musical genre had such a strong current in Greece. What’s happening is lost on everyone and if you exclude heavy metal and its offshoots, it’s unprecedented.

“To understand how much potential Greek rap has,” says Kostis: “I talk to people who book foreign artists, mainly American rappers, who are afraid to book some names, even if they are well known, because they alone don’t have any They think that in order to close them they need a very strong Greek support, that is, the Greek rapper will bring the audience with him. In 6ix9ine for example support was Sob, who has a larger audience than him in Greece.”

And it’s an audience that doesn’t need traditional media, doesn’t care because they have other ways to get informed, just like rappers do to promote their work. This is bad for traditional media because the gap that separates them from young audiences and the new is getting bigger and bigger and they can no longer keep up with what’s happening. Everything used to go through the media to exist and reach the world, now the media just follows what’s happening. Or they don’t even dare to look at it.

A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece Facebook Twitter
Little ones may not know the lyrics to Madonna’s songs or have any idea what Pet Shop Boys means, but they know by heart the lyrics to 6ix9ine’s songs and Greek rappers you’ve never even heard of. Photo: Filippos Lemonis/LIFO

“The mentality in music has changed,” says o Christos Kortselis, the director of Feelgood Records. “The record comes out and it’s straight on Spotify, there’s direct access, you don’t wait for someone to promote it to you, you find it yourself.” The thing is, this hip-hop culture has embraced everything that The way children dress, dance and talk. I see kids on the street listening to hip-hop like the boomboxes used to be. And that’s completely normal, we’ve never experienced that before, especially not with children like this. The interesting thing is that Greek production is currently in no way inferior to foreign production. And not just Athens, all of Greece.

When you release a record, you’re talking commercially, but it’s not about exploiting a current situation. What we want is to release something that we like first and that represents us as listeners in the same way that Feelgood and Black Athena do. We also want to be able to support a genre we believe in beyond any commercial value. In Greece, until two or three years ago, hip-hop as a culture was an imitation, played in bouzoukis as an opening act or was very marginal. It took about a dozen years for all of this to catch on with kids and mainstream and become mainstream. In the history of music, hip-hop is the last mass movement, and here we had it on the fringes.”

A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece Facebook Twitter
Photo from the filming of the video for “Hustle” by Wizzel Badazz. Photo: Filippos Lemonis/LIFO

“The collection still doesn’t have a name,” says Kostis. “Their first two tracks released as singles are an English language track, ‘The Hustle’ by Wizzel Badazz, and one with Greek lyrics, ‘Palmos’ by MC Yinka.

Wizzel is a very talented child who has gone through a very difficult time. He came from Ghana to Greece alone, without his family and under very difficult conditions. He’s trying to “play the game” and that’s why his first track is called “The Hustle” because hustling is his whole life. The beat is from a 15 year old producer who gave me some of the best beats we’ve ever heard.

The second track comes from a man who is a real OG of Athens, MC Yinka, who I have known for many years as he played in the old Guru when he managed fantastic DJs. I have great respect for him and am very pleased that he has agreed to be included in the collection. He has written a piece that is very moving, with a strong Greek element.

Video clips are available for both. The first will be released in the first ten days of November. The collection is ready, in December we will hold a presentation party associated with the release of the mixtape. There will be more events related to the collection after that, but the schedule calls for a release shortly before Christmas. It will be released both digitally and on vinyl.

A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece Facebook Twitter
Wizzel is a very talented child who has gone through a very difficult time. He came from Ghana to Greece alone, without his family and under very difficult conditions. He’s trying to “play the game” and that’s why his first track is called “The Hustle” because hustling is his whole life. Photo: Filippos Lemonis/LIFO
A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece Facebook Twitter
Photo: Filippos Lemonis/LIFO
A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece Facebook Twitter
Photo from the filming of the video for “Hustle” by Wizzel Badazz. Photo: Filippos Lemonis/LIFO
A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece Facebook Twitter
Photo: Filippos Lemonis/LIFO
A conversation about rap, the genre that captivates young audiences in Greece Facebook Twitter
Photo from the filming of the video for “Hustle” by Wizzel Badazz. Photo: Filippos Lemonis/LIFO

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