A Protest Scream Spreading From Ghettos To Metropolises Rap Music

The Person Who Sings His Poem Or Lyrics On The Uniform Melody Where The Rhythm Is At The Forefront Is Called With The Abbreviation “Mc” Meaning “Master Of Ceremonies”, “Microphone Controller” Or “Mic Check”.

Rap as a musical genre; is a protest method of execution based on the rapid and harmonious singing of poetic words that have limited melody depth, suitable for rhythm and often touching on social issues. Most of the time, it continues the form of words against worldly events that the MC (Master of ceremonies) cannot accept. It can be described as one of the two opposites that manifest its poetic intelligence and thus overcome its dominant power.

Hip Hop And Rap As A Subculture
Hip hop culture, which can be called as a rebellion reflex that revolts and even rebels from its local area to a cultural hegemony, comes to life in the 1970s American ghettos. Rap music, which is often confused as a concept, is only one of the sub-classes of hip hop culture such as graffiti, break dance, and DJ. In the American suburbs of the time, in the ghettos where Hispanic and African American populations are the majority, especially in uncanny gang struggles, hip hop, a subculture structure that emerged in order to intimidate the other side and gain superiority by expressing itself, stakes the popular culture created by “white man”. The “bad boys”, who are far outside the collective bourgeois hierarchy, seek their own means of amusement while at the same time seeking to expose their ever-increasing existence troubles within them. Rap music comes to life at the point where the sadness and ordeal thrown into the masses is finally brought out by music just like blues, jazz, punk or rock.

Although the offensive aspect seems to have an aggressive expression in the foreground and body language, the basis of rap music is the hope of seeing the world as a more livable place. For this reason, what he recommends to his addressee is that he starts by respecting the person who is not like him first.

From Light Western Music With Turkish Lyrics To Rap Music
While searching for the roots of Turkish rap music, our way is coming to the early 90s and the German ghettos. After the Second World War, Germany began to be thrown in a social eddy and paralyzed ideological practices, while some radical political movements took advantage of this political emptiness. When National Socialism failed to dominate its intellectual and political stance on a democratic basis, it took an aggressive position aiming to make it accepted by armed means if it deemed it “necessary” and had its eye on the minorities in Germany as the first job. Neo-Nazism was going to trouble the Turks in Germany, who were “black heads” in the eyes of the Nazis, “Alamancı” as the Anatolian people call them.

The Turkish workers whom Germany has opened its doors with the condition of returning to their countries after working only one year due to lack of labor in industry and industry move (can) have never returned. They lived in poor conditions and worked hard. In the 70s, they were dispersed to permanent houses, neighborhoods and social life. They have achieved social rights, albeit limitedly. When the next generation started to overcome the problems of education, language and adaptation, the Turkish neighborhoods were already established in Germany, in other words ghettos. When the Berlin Wall collapsed, the pressure put by the United States on Federal Germany increased and “security and supervision” activities accelerated. It was in the early ‘90s and American families began to increase in areas where Turks lived. Their children went to the same schools, played on the same streets, lived the same social life. Turkish young people were introduced to hip hop culture and rap music thanks to the effects of this political whirlpool on urban life.

Berlin-based Turkish rap music trials started with English and German were realized in 1991 with the album The World is Subversion released by the band named King Size Terror. With the rap song “Bir Yabancının Hayatı” (The Life of a Stranger) recorded by Alper Ağa, the first rap song in Turkish was opening a brand new page in our music history.

Cartel Number One, The Biggest!
In the event, remembered as one of the most abhorrent massacres of recent European history, the home of the Young family of Turkish origin living in Solingen, Germany was burned on May 29, 1993, as a result of the arson of the Neo-Nazis; The five members of the family had died in this event, which was called the Solingen Massacre in history. Later, the German government of the period, with the suggestion of leading artists and intellectuals of the public conscience to a little bit to repair the bleeding conscience of the house burned into a museum, and the entrance “O German people, humanity, remember the shame!”

In this period, the ability of rap music to manipulate the insurrection and rebellion that could not be converted into reaction was coming to the rescue of the German Turkish youth who could not find a medium to reflect their reaction. The Solingen massacre, a tragic case in which Turkish rap music took a giant step and ravaged the music world, has a great share in this respect.

The children who grew up with the love they heard from the children of American families in Germany first wanted to reflect the crush psychosis within them by combining the ghetto groups. With the participation of Erci-E in the rap groups Karakan and Cinai Network, the legend of Cartel was born, which would later become a phenomenon. We could see that some of the lyrics in the group’s song with the same name express their manifestos in a language that we’ve never been accustomed to. The band is featured in lyrics and video clips of the Solingen massacre, making references to German Neo-Nazis. This musical phenomenon, which has progressive potential, expressed the sense of “being the other and being despised” experienced by parents and children for three generations, so to speak, in the lyrics they put into rhythm. According to them, the solution of the problem was to turn collective consciousness into action. As a foreigner in the foreign land, an Alamanist in homeland their sorrow had already turned into reaction.

In their songs, emphasis on Turkishness, feelings of exploitation, humiliation and otherness were prominent. The rebellious cry of expatriates spreading from the ghettos into the city center was gradually becoming a social canon. The young children of immigrant families, the rap groups they formed in Germany, Cartel conducted a small public opinion poll in the music market. After a short while, they took their album and took it to Istanbul, the city paved with gold. And for them, a dream that was never in the account was thus begun. The album was able to sell 100 thousand copies in the first week when it took its place in the music markets, creating a full bomb effect; it was able to collect all the sales-oriented awards such as Golden Cassette, Double Platinum. Cartel introduced the Turkish music audience to rap music with stadium concerts, a “kitsch” music tradition of the period. A record number of music fans attended the band’s concert at the Inönü Stadium, which was even featured in Time magazine under the title how the German-based Turkish rap group conquered Istanbul.

After The Cartel (C.S.)
In the Turkish rap music, the stave was set to the highest point at the beginning, and for the masses who thought that the oppressed were at least crushed; this brand new music style gave a deep breath. In fact, the fathers of young people who embraced Turkish rap music when they migrated from the provinces to the big cities gave their hearts to another music which they formed as sympathetic as their sons. Arabesque… the task of calming the oppressed towards the Millennium was this time in rap music. Turkish young people who localized the legacy of German youth from Berlin’s ghettos to big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, stepped into the music market one after the other, reaching considerable sales figures and reading their “rhythmic poems” to thousands of concerts. During this period, artists such as Yunus Özyavuz (Sagopa Kajmer), Bilgin Özçalkan (Ceza), Tarık Gamert (Dr. Fuchs), Emre Baransel, Sultana, and Kolera carried the flags they received from Cartel according to their own pastures. Erman-Ender, Yener Çevik and Fuat Ergin, also a German ecole, were known as important representatives of rap music in this period. The overwhelming taste of good work was condemned to the sieve of these young people. Kadıköy Acil and Doğu Bosphorus were the first ones that came to mind.

Rap music, which has been re-accelerating its popularity since the 90’s thanks to the rap music elements that have been reflected in the cinema and TV series soundtracks in recent days, continues to provide the development of Turkish rap music with names such as Ezhel, Norm Ender, Gazapizm, Ben Fero, Sansar Salvo, Anıl Piyancı, No.1 and Allâme.


Microphone Controller
MC’s microphone control, breath and rhythm harmony, poetic mastery, rhyme-harmony and language dominance are key elements of his harmonic success in rap music. Sensitivity to social issues, responsiveness, and positioning of the mechanism of criticism to the right point determine MC’s depth in rap culture.

From Cartel Album

The solution of the problem is in us and in me/
Don’t let them oppress you because you’re a foreigner/
Cartel is at the 3 corners of Germany/Cartel hits and runs/
But thinks well and chooses the ones they’re gonna hit/
All the young people are ready for Cartel/
That’s what it seems to me or do you have a doubt?”

From Underground To The Stadium Concerts
Cartel introduced the Turkish music audience to rap music with stadium concerts, a “kitsch” music tradition of the period. A record number of music fans attended the band’s concert at the Inönü Stadium, which was even featured in Time magazine under the title how the German-based Turkish rap group conquered Istanbul.

Voices below mediocre excite fans/I’m a vortex choking empty lyrics in deep waters/Listen as you listen, apart from rap is lie to me/Well done to the one understand the word, understand and tell.”

By: Necati Bulut

*This article was published in the September-October issue of Marmara Life. 

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