The Onion celebrates Martin Luther King Day; Czech Hip-Hop

The January 12 edition of The Onion is a theme-based issue devoted to black-white relations in America. Not exceptionally hilarious, but a lot of thought-provoking articles. The highlight of this issue, for me anyway, is an excellent interview with famed hip-hop producer Rick Rubin – a man who helped make the genre the phenomenon it is today. A classic example of ‘can’t judge a book by its cover’ – Rubin looks more Skynyrd than Snoop. But he’s responsible for introducing LL Cool J, Public Enemy and countless other hip-hop legends and stars to the world.

Speaking of hip-hop, a producer friend of mine, Richard James, once told me that he can’t get into Czech rapping because the rhymes don’t flow as sweetly as they do in English or French. While I’ve heard some pretty impressive work by the country’s top hip-hop artists – most notably Peneri Strycka Homboye and Indy & Wich – I have to agree with him.

However, the main problem I have with Czech hip-hop isn’t with the lyrical content or flow. There’s an urgency, playfulness and passion that Czech rappers can’t seem to convey as well as their English (especially American) and French counterparts can. The latest PSH single, Praha, for instance, does not move me at all – though that’s mainly due to the fact that the song doesn’t have a hook.

For a second opinion, check out this amusing, though dated, review of Indy & Wich’s MY3 (at the bottom of the page).

Jan 15, 06:00 (Filed under: Web watch, Culture )

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