Gangsta Rap Can Be Political
Translation by:Danny S.
Objectification of women, homophobia and violence: all too often rap only has discriminatory potential. That it can be done differently is demonstrated by RAPutation.tv. The political online-casting show offers young people a platform to be socially critical and engage in a political dialogue. Who is the best political rapper in Germany?
Whether a critique on the unemployment office, the school system, homophobia and racism, or the demand that politics should more consistently engage in a reasonable dialogue with young people, there is hardly a topic that hasn't been addressed by the up-and-coming rappers of the online-casting show RAPutation.tv. The show aims at helping them spread their political message as well as supporting their talents.
Rappers putting themselves in politicians' shoes.
Through their own tracks and political lyrics, young people competed for the second time for the title Deutschlands bester politischer Rapper (Germany's best political rapper – ed). The best three were able to present their songs live in the finale at the Kreuzberger club Bi Nuu. The assignment? Putting themselves in the shoes of a politician.
Are politicians merely puppets? Winner Cossu puts this question to the test.
The winner is 24-year-old Cossu from Heidelberg. The rapper asks himself in his final track "Zwiespalt" whether politicians become puppets in the course of their political careers. Does one's personal opinion even matter as politician? Or do they conform too much to the ideologies of political parties?
Second place went to Mars One from Düsseldorf, while third went to 21-year-old Icarus. Since December of last year, 229 young artists have taken part in the competition. The candidates were chosen via an online vote by notable figures in the rap scene, such as Sookee, Weekend and MoTrip, whereas in the finale they were chosen by the audience as well.
Rap and politics: a good combination?
The finalists agree; since being involved in the competition, they've become even more involved with politics. "I tend to critically dispute and get to the bottom of all problems. Even political ones," adds teacher trainee Cossu. However, not only were the tracks political, but so were the guests.
Some notable figures were present, such as Gregor Gysi and Katja Kipping (Both part of The Left), Cansel Kiziltepe (SPD), Özcan Mutlu (The Greens), Jens Spahn (CDU) and Hans-Christian Ströbele (The Greens). The politicians helped with the wardrobe, the bar or at the merchandise stand, and got involved in discussions with the younger crowd. "You guys don't just condemn politics as outsiders. You get involved. And that's noteworthy," says Özvan Mutlu, praising the rappers. "We can keep living in the illusion that young people are apolitical, but in actuality all we have to do is approach them!" says Gregor Gysi. His colleague Katja Kipping promised to include the messages of the young people in her party's work. But it remains to be seen whether their demands will actually be heard.
Translated from Mehr als Gangsta: Rap kann auch Politik