Rhyme Traveler part 2
The Voyage of Verse
Gutes Deutches Hip Hop!!! Hip Hop in Western Europe
In the Spring of 2000 I was stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany after I finished my basic training (BCT) and job skill training (AIT). When I first received the news I was excited, I couldn’t believe it, I get to live in another country! I just didn’t know what to expect. I remembered reading in The Source magazine (when it was worth a read) about International Hip Hop, especially in Germany. Even back then I was an online junkie posting freestyles, or keystyles on various Hip Hop related message boards. From there I would find out different information from websites like http://www.hiphop.de Hip Hop and other websites geared towards German Hip Hop.
I remember my first Hip Hop event was in a place called Jugendhaus and it was funny how I found the place. I decided to walk through town and I saw a flyer posted on a pillar that said “Hip Hop Jam” I was thinking to myself maybe it’s some “bling, bling, getting jiggy with it” type of thing. So I decided to find this place called Jugendhaus, when I arrived I was amazed the place looked like something from a Boot Camp Clik video from the mid 90’s I couldn’t believe I was still in Germany. There was graffiti everywhere and I hear Hip Hop music and rapping from a distance. As I move closer it gets louder and I approach a window and yell to the person sitting right by it like. “Yo, you guys are freestyling” he was like, “Yeah” that was Kadir Bico, who is still a good friend of mine until this day. I climb into the window and I find myself in a makeshift music production room with turntables, microphones, keyboards, and etc…What I learned later is that this was a city funded program for the youth to learn music production. Jugendhaus became my favorite chill spot for the next two years in Germany and it was right outside of the base I lived on. I even performed their a few times, opening up for a national act by the name of http://www.koolsavas.de Kool Savas, who has been a major artist in the country who has gained respect from all over.
My time stationed in Germany was awesome because I loved the way they embraced Hip Hop Culture, when it seemed like it was dying in the US. It was robust in Germany, in fact artists that weren’t as popular in the US were very popular there. I managed to pick up the language because I was involved in the scene and learned more and more about the scene there which is vast because the country has a very efficient method of travel. The trains that connect the cities together, eventually I went to other countries like Spain, France, and Netherlands.
The Dutch scene I find to be very interesting I have been following it for a few years now and learned about artists like Salah Edin, Kempi, Zwart Licht, Gikkels, and Brain Power to name a few. I remember in 2002 I snuck away to Holland for a weekend and found myself in a breakdance circle in front of a train station in Rotterdam. These were the moments that gave me some of my greatest memories of being in Europe, because it seemed like everywhere I went people were involved in some way with the culture.
Here are some links to some interesting sites, so least you can get a picture of it.