Rap Against Violence in Mali

Rap Against Violence in Mali

We sent Tina, one of our RAPOLITICS-coaches, to Mali to work on a DanChurchAid project that focused on youth and armed violence in December 2014. Mali is after the conflict in 2012 plagued by rising levels of armed violence, not least of jihadists in the north, and the country is also but also experiencing an increase in criminal violence south of the conflict region. DanChurchAid had therefore a program that seeked to reduce and prevent armed violence. RAPOLITICS was invited to conduct a workshop in rap and dance for a month for young men whom are in particular danger of arming themselves. The workshops ended with a show together with the Malian rapper Tal-B. In addition, a CD was produced with the best 10 tracks from the workshop. Read more…

Lost Boys Rapping for Peace and National Reconciliation

During the Fall 2014 RAPOLITICS had company of the two South Sudanese rappers Hot Dogg (Mijok Lang) and L.U.A.L (Lual D’Awol). During their stay they facilitated rap workshops at schools in most parts of Denmark in cooperation with the Youth Program from the Danish Center for Culture and Development.

Both Hot Dog and L.U.A.L are children of the civil war, which lay waste to Sudan from 1983-2005. While L.U.A.L was born in New York where his parents lived, Hot Dogg was born in the present South Sudan, and is one of the more than 20.000 Lost Boys who lost their parents and homes during the war. Read more…

Highlights from RAPOLITICS’ Hip-Hop Year 2014

We had a great year – and a very busy one. Here we present some highlights!

Bringing Rap Knowledge to Students in Denmark

In 2014 we intensified our educational work in Denmark. We teamed up with our friends from Livsbanen and with the Municipality of Copenhagen and carried out a pilot project in schools in the island of Amager, bringing rap knowledge to the students. We are glad to announce that we will be repeating the project in 2015! Furthermore, for the first time ever school students visited us in GAME for a workshop about poetry, spoken word and rap.  We are, thus, supporting the implementation of the new school reform and contributing to the education of school students! We have know four educational packages for schools – and all can be booked through our website (in Denmark only). Some say that knowledge is hip-hop’s fifth unknown element. We are doing what we can to make it a central element in all our work! Read more…

Sharing a Hip-Hop Dream in Beirut

This is a travel journal from RAPOLITICS-coaches Emil and Pelle. It was made during their visit in Beirut in August 2014, where they were invited by GAME Lebanon to participate as rappers and coaches in the project entitled “Democracy Makers“. Read more…

Hip-hop is more than Beats and Rhymes…

We are at a conference on education in Billings, Montana, US. Represented in the room are students from three different indigenous schools from the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, the Fort Peck Reservation, which is home to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, and the Crow Indian Reservation. The students are waiting for the keynote speaker to arrive. The room is quiet despite the many people present. They don’t look at each other or converse. Actually, most of them dislike each other, but for no apparent reason. Read more…

Hip-Hop is Street Journalism in Senegal

Senegalese hip-hop is not about guns, bitches and drugs. It is the voice of activists against the system. But it is also about love for the country and its potentials, where everybody agrees that ’Africa is the Future’. I spend the beginning of the Summer in Senegal close to the capital Dakar. During my trip I got a glimpse of the heart of the Senegalese hip-hop movement. Read more…

Egypt: Underground Revolution

The hip-hop and underground Egyptian movement began well before the revolution of 2011 to denounce the injustice of the Mubarak regime. Tahrir Square was the conclusion of a long social journey in which even the band of local rappers have reaped the rewards of their protests and their songs have become anthems of the revolution. The ‘underground’ Arab hip-hop seems to have found the initial message of protest without imitating the American movement, keeping proud roots in the Egyptian culture, mixing sounds and traditions. The fame achieved by some of these bands have also allowed others to come out and many disciplines to finally have a recognition , from street art to skate-boarding , from parkour to freestyle football. Read more…

Top 5: Summer of Raptivism

We at RAPOLITICS had a very busy summer. So here you have five examples of pure raptivism – check them out! Read more…

The Leading Graffiti Artist of Senegal is a Woman

Although the hip-hop culture in Senegal is predominantly male, one of the best graffiti artists in the community in and around Dakar, the capital of Senegal, is Zeinixx, a 24-year old woman. In her art, she puts on display the challenges facing women in Senegalese society. Read more…

Palestinian Artivism in the Streets of Copenhagen

Seven young Palestinian street artists visited Denmark in July 2014 in order to bring some artivism and decorate a series of murals and tunnels with Danish graffiti artists. They were invited by the Danish organization StreetStudies to participate in a project funded by the Danish Center for Culture and Development. The purpose of the project was to provide the young artists from Nablus, Ramallah and Jerusalem with a creative platform where they could learn more about graffiti and street art, express their views in murals and engage in a dialogue with Danish artists and the public in general. Read more…

Hip-Hop Generates Hope in the Ghetto of Dakar

The poverty, unemployment and crime rate is huge in the ghetto area Pikine outside the Senegalese capital Dakar. Once, hanging in the street corner, was the only thing to do. But since 2006 street-art schools have allotted alternatives which have produced dreams about a better life as a hip-hop artist. And dreams generates hope. Read more…

Transforming Egypt through Hip-Hop

Something changed in the hip-hop scene in Egypt the last couple of years. And something changed in the hip-hoppers as well. Egypt has been in a chaotic state since the so-called Arab Spring, and the youth of Egypt have in general had to face a lot of new things and change their way of thinking. In Alexandria the hip-hop scene were also active in this transformation of Egypt, but it also transformed itself. RAPOLITICS wanted together with Revolution Records, the first Egyptian underground hip-hop label, to help boost this transformation. Therefore, we established a recording studio with the purpose of uniting the Alexandrian hip-hop community and put spotlight on Arabic hip-hop.

Read more…

In a South Sudan State of Mind

This is the first blog post in a series related to the upcoming project ‘Oyee! Give Peace a Chance’ – a project that focuses on the world’s youngest nation and how raptivists there use rap as a way to promote peace and reconciliation.

An optimistic tone was never harder to strike. Having known such adventures and challenges, having experienced the multitudes and beauties of the people and the land, and having cried, laughed and sworn my head off – for two amazing years in South Sudan – my heart is breaking. As I write this, the United Nations has confirmed the newest rounds of massacres of civilians, and South Sudan seems to have surely descended into what seems like the deepest abyss. Read more…

Hip-Hop Diary from Alexandria

RAPOLITICS has teamed up with Revolution Records from Egypt in order to boost the hip-hop scene in Alexandria by establishing a recording studio and a creative place for all raptivists and hip-hop youth. During the last 12 months, the team behind Revolution Records has been busy starting 16 Bar (a hip-hop radio station), recording mixtapes and tracks with upcomming rappers, performing at concerts and facilitating workshops in raptivism and graffiti. A big concert at the French Institute is the culmination of the BOOST project funded by the Danish Center for Culture and Development.  RAPOLITICS-coach and raptivist Pelle Møller from Denmark was invited to perform at the concert in Alexandria together with Revolution Records themselves and young raptivists from the 16 Bar Mixtape. This blog post is Pelle’s travel diary where he share his experiences in Alexandria with us. Read more…

Gaza: Graffiti Messages from the Heart

The guide books warn about going here. The Foreign Offices tells us that there is a high threat of terrorism. Don’t visit any part of the territory!, they say. And if you do, there is no ‘our man’ there to help you out. It is quite difficult to enter this part of world unless you are working for a NGO or are a journalist. Even for top politicians, entering can be quite a hurdle. Not more than a few weeks ago, the head of the Danish Parliament Mogens Lykketoft was going to visit the occupied territory. He was denied access by the Israelis. We are in Gaza, Palestine; the world’s biggest prison, as the locals like to call it. This is where the graffiti artist Mohammed Ayman is born and raised. Read more…

Rap is Invading the Egyptian Radio Waves

In the beginning of 2014, another important page was written for hip-hop music in the region when the first radio station entirely for Arab hip-hop music was launched.

When the Arab Spring began in December 2010, the entire world’s attention turned towards the Middle East. ’Revolution’ was on the lips of many in the region, and the tunes of change were in the air. While the nature of the political changes of the Arab Spring is yet to be determined, one thing is certain: Hip-hop music in the Arab world was not only a driver for the revolutions and revolts sweeping across the region, it has undergone a revolution itself and has blossomed to a whole new level. Read more…

Supporting Raptivists & Breaking Records in 2013

RAPOLITICS had an incredible year – our fifth one.

We were busy with 8 projects in Denmark and abroad. It was the year where we had the most visits from raptivists from around the world. The year with the greatest number of projects with an international dimension. The first year with our Egyptian partner Revolution Records. The year with our first photo exibition. The first time we made cyphers. The year with the most tracks recorded. We had our first major hip hop seminar supported by the EU. For the first time we produced teaching material for schools. We had for the first time ever visit from raptivists from Gaza. And it was the year where we visisted the most cities in Denmark. All and all, a year with great achievements for us! Read more…

I Rap to Break the Silence Inside Me

Meet Yukka. A 22 year old female rapper, self announced feminist and former law student from Egypt who’s been rapping about women’s rights, equality and the Egyptian revolution since 2011. Interesting, right? Read more…

RapLab: A Revolutionary Hip-Hop Training Camp

What do 35 rappers from Denmark, Lebanon, Egypt and Palestine have in common? They all want to change the world through their music. Therefore, RAPOLITICS invited them to participate in the RapLab MENA-DK project where the goal was to create a musical manifest for the future and to exchange knowledge on cultural issues and raptivism during an intense nine day training camp. Read more…

The voice of Egyptian raptivists cannot be silenced

From the outside it looks like any other dusty brown building in Egypt. But when you get closer you see paint on the wall outside the building announcing that something interesting is happening on the second floor. If you dare to enter and climb the old rusty staircase you will find a hidden treasure. Behind tall doors there is an unexpected world: walls painted with all styles of graffiti; a studio with sound-isolated rooms and professional equipment for recording music; and training facilities for graffiti art and music production. Last but not least, you will find a place full of young hopeful rappers and artists. Read more…