||Unit 18 Dutch Rap|
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17
18 19 20
"I always wanted to sound like KRS-One because he is straight up knowledge. Then I said this is his thing and I need to get my own thing. That’s when I started rapping in my own native language, which is Suriname. That’s how I developed my own style." MC Srarang
UNIT 18 OBJECTIVE: How has hip-hop influenced new expressions in Dutch culture and music?
Hip-hop is an expression of rebellion by youth against the norms of society. Through hip-hop, non-African American youth throughout the world have created unique sub-cultures marked by the construction of identities that embody their ideals, values, worldviews, and traditions. In the process, hip-hop has acquired new identities, meanings, and functions. Hip-hop in the Netherlands provides a case study to examine this phenomenon in global spaces.
The Netherlands is located in the northeast of Europe and is surrounded by Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea. Add and link to a map of Northeast Europe highlighting the location of the Netherlands. Its inhabitants are indigenous Dutch people and immigrant groups from Indonesia, Suriname, and the Antilles, Morocco, and Turkey. Indonesia, Suriname, and the Antilles are former Dutch colonies and many of their residents immigrated to the Netherlands after these countries claimed their independence.
Indonesia is located in southeast Asia and the former Dutch Antilles and Suriname are located in the northeast corner of South America. The Dutch imported people from Morocco and Turkey as temporary workers, many who remained in the Netherlands and eventually became Dutch citizens.
Hip-hop was introduced in the Netherlands through underground channels- radio stations, later MTV, and Hollywood films in the 1980s. The Suriname youth were the first to embrace hip-hop in Holland, relating to the sound and message of black American DJs and MCs. In 1982, they created a hip-hop subculture that replaced the reggae subculture of earlier generations. The Suriname youth from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague established hip-hop meeting places where they organized hop-hop parties and contests and developed rules about style, commitment, and behavior to establish an “authentic” hardcore hip-hop identity that included:
wearing specific brand-name clothes buying specific hip-hop recordings identifying with specific hip-hop radio and television programs
Gangsta rap dominated the imported hip-hop styles. The images associated with gangsta rap influenced the negative perceptions of the wider Dutch community regarding the hip-hop as a genre.
SURINAME HIP-HOP PIONEER: MC SRARANG Underground Dutch rappers initially imitated American models. By 1985, they had begun to write original lyrics in English. During this year, hip-hop began to move into the mainstream through the concerts of black American rappers, hip-hop parties and contests hosted at traditional entertainment venues.
By 1986, MC Srarang (Clyde Godlieb) from Suriname had introduced new elements to hip-hop, giving the genre a local identity. After initially imitating black American models, he began rapping in his native tongue and writing lyrics based on his experiences and observations of daily life. He explains:
MC Srarang raps about jealousy, friendships, money and “people who want to bigger and better that someone else.”
He derived samples from various sources including Kaseko music, an early form of Surinamese popular music:
He also derived samples from Middle Eastern and Asiatic traditions, musical sounds of children, and black American styles including funk:
"Doekoe" [money] (1992) "Fawakka"[how are you?] (1992)
DUTCH HIP-HOP PIONEER: DEF P Rapper Def P (Pascal Griffioen) was one of the first non-black Dutch youth to appreciate hip-hop. He became interested in this music in 1982 at age 12 upon hearing hip-hop on an underground radio station. He was fascinated by the rhythmical rhyming and wanted to learn more about the tradition. He went to the early hip-hop parties, and often was the only white present:
White Dutch rapper Def P imitated black American rappers for 4 years then formed Funky Fresh Force in 1986 Funky Fresh Force imitates black American rappers in English
Funky Fresh Four "We Are" (1986) Funky Fresh Four "Amsterdam" (1988)
In 1988 Hip-Hop in The Netherlands began evolving into a more commercialized form. Talent scouts began to contract MC to rap one-liners on hip-house records. Rappers sign commercial contracts with record producers. Rap blends with other commercial forms.
Funky Fresh Four "Legacy of Wizard" (1990)
In 1988, Def P visited Los Angeles and played his song for West Coast rappers. They didn't like his music because the rhymes and rhythm didn't sound right. They suggested that Def P create his own raps and from his Dutch experience and then he considered rapping in Dutch.
In 1989 Def P left Funky Fresh Four and formed Osdorp Posse because Funky Fresh Four was becoming too commercial. Def P began to write and perform hip hop in a Dutch style and from a Dutch perspective.
Osdorp Posse "Osdorp Styl" (1989) Osdorp Posse "Commercial Aids" (1992)
Transformative Elements: Verbal In 1992 Def P wrote and performed Dutch versions of gangsta raps. However, the Netherlands did not have gangs nor gang related activities. Def P also literally translated black slang and profanity into Dutch.
Beginning in 1996/1997 Def P transformed the American style into a Dutch hard rock version.
Osdorp Posse "Briljant, Hard en Geslepen" (1992) Osdorp Posse "Brilliant, Hard, Loud and Sly"Vigilante discusses their response to Osdorp Posse’s rock-oriented rap
Def P summarizes this transformational process:
Musicians study and imitate selected Black American genres.
Musicians experiment with and incorporate elements from Dutch or Surinameese culture to produce a type of hybrid style. Phase III Transformation --> Indigenization
Dutch/ European or Surinamese/ African Diasporia sources replace American ones to produce an emergent style. While MC Srarang, Def P and other rappers have created a distinctive Dutch hip-hop style, others have chosen to construct styles that infuse older and newer hip-hop styles that result. RECORDINGS OF OTHER DUTCH HIP-HOP GROUPS:
|Last updated 8 June 2001||© Trustees Indiana University|