by Thomas Brady


OUTLIINE FOR THIS ARTICLE:

  I: Babbling about world musiculture.

  II: Interesting tidbit about language in this video.

  III. Etc.

I. So I learned something about hip-hop the other day from the likeliest of all sources: Rick Steves’ Europe.

I was watching an older teenaged boy, who lived in Amsterdam, explain to Rick Steves - while his younger sister of about 14 probably constantly piped in to agree - that outside the US hip-hop is just a musical style, unencumbered by many of the rules of the form it has in the US.

Here, a hip-hop artist must maintain a certain image. They must be “hard.” They must be “from the streets.” Certain artists had a hard time getting into the scene and still have a hard time getting any credibility in certain industry circles because they went to college. Some artists just don’t make any sense at all in the genre: we’re looking at you Ke$ha.

In Europe, though, as the young Dutchman explained, anyone can perform hip-hop, no money down, no street-credit-check. The video above, for example, and acts like Uffie.

So, this leads me to wonder if someone like Ke$ha (yes, what I really mean is “Someone like whoever had the idea to make that girl into ‘Ke$ha’”) is a cross-the-water reverberation of hip-hip - bounced off European shores and back to us in a sad copy-of-a-copy form.

Or, perhaps, he-who-created-Ke$ha is just ignorant or apathetic to hip-hop as a form.

II. That’s swiss-german being spoken in the video. It’s a fascinating language used only for speech and not writing in certain regions, especially Switzerland. Definitely hit that article if you’re into linguistic oddities. Very interesting. Apparently there are Amish in Indiana that also speak it.

III. I love that the backing music is performed by a quasi-klezmer band. Europe is an incredible melting pot.

Thanks to swissmiss for the link.