Archive for april, 2011

The Evolution of Swedish Hip-Hop

april 24, 2011  |  Hiphop, Musik, Samhälle

Published on svenskmusik.org in April 2011

How Swedish hip-hop went from a peripheral subculture to a multi-faceted, cutting-edge music genre

Swedish hip-hop artists can have a good laugh over the rumored demise of the genre, spread by the media following the mainstream breakthrough of rap in the late 1990s. The scene has never been as thriving and multi-faceted as it is now in the spring of 2011, with entire book soundtracks taking on a hip-hop flavor (like futuristic dystopia ”Svenneskräp” with Ken as the audio book narrator). As the social gap between rich and poor grows in Sweden, hip-hop is becoming increasingly relevant for those people who feel excluded from Swedish society.

”The worse people feel, the more they need to express themselves. Some do that with knives, while others write songs,” says Timbuktu, one of Sweden’s biggest rap stars.

Fortunately, the rhythms and rhymes are flowing for the moment. Music journalist Ametist Azordegan, one of Swedish hip-hop’s foremost advocates and the presenter of Sveriges Radio’s program ”En kärleksattack på svensk hip-hop” (A love affair with Swedish hip-hop), thinks that the market is saturated, at least in terms of rappers.

”It was as though a dam burst in 2009.  My show airs once a week and I don’t have time to play all the new music. We have never had a year with as many releases as 2010.”

So hip-hop is just as big in Sweden as it is in most other countries. But does hip-hop fulfill a different purpose in Sweden than in the USA? What is unique about Swedish hip-hop?

In order to understand this, we have to rewind the tape back to the prologue year, 1979.  Läs mer