Europe is the origin of many of the common spoken languages of today. It makes sense then that rap music has flourished there, and many European cultures have adopted their own hip-hop cultures. Check out below some of Europe’s most thriving hip-hop subcultures.
Sweden, Suburban Stockholm Hip-Hop
Redbull.com says, “Today, hip hop is one of the biggest genres in Sweden, and a big part of Swedish rap comes out of the Stockholm suburbs, but it’s not only a Stockholm thing.” Erik Lundin is one such rapper. His song, “Helvetet i Huvudstaden” describes his thoughts and feelings about his culture and society.
“Rap Français” Contested Immigrant Identity
French rap is some of the coolest and most politically dissident out there. So, it makes perfect sense that the French government does not want you to know about it. Jonathyne Briggs, author of “Sounds French: Globalisation, Cultural Communities, and Pop Music,” states that rap has been viewed as an external import to France. French rap artists are often from and using their music careers to speak up for their often disenfranchised suburban neighborhoods (called “banlieues”). One such rapper is, Kekra, who always covers his face because he is still hiding his rap identity from his mother. His song “Manières”, which features Boumidjal X, reflects the dissent common to French hip-hop culture with lyrics about “Le système”.
“Deutschrap” and its Cultural Heritage
“Deutschrap” had its golden moment in the Summer of 2019. Being a part of a neighborhood and a city-specific identity are important in both German and hip-hop cultures. It makes sense that the genre has blown up in the country during the days of quarantine since its initial rise in the 90s. Though wholeheartedly authentically German, Deutchrappers often reference classically American rap concepts and phrases. Check out the lyrics to “Be a Hoe/Break a Hoe” by Shirin David and featuring Kitty Kat, “Deutchrap mami/Deutchrap barbie!”
UK, Anglo-Rap Overseas
Lastly, the UK has a long and varied hip-hop legacy. Its history mirror’s the rap culture of the United States. Bristol and Chicago are the cities that birthed subgenres like “trip-hop”and “trap” respectively. The dominating flow of Lord Apex on “Speak for Yourself” and Ghanian-British rapper Br3yna’s “Game Over” featuring KiDi reflects the richness and diversity of British rap.