Poptular Muisic and Society, Vol. 26, No.

4, 2003


Spaghetti Funk: Appropriations of Hip-Hop Culture and Rap Music in Europe
Jannis Androutsopoulos and Arno Scholz

Introduction In the past twenty years, hip-hop culture and especially its most popular form of expression, rap music, have spread "from the margins to mainstream" (Stapleton 219). What started in deprived New York neighborhoods in the late 1970s is today a worldwide youth culture. As with previous music cultures, such as heavy metal and punk rock, the global reception of rap music led to its being productively used in new social and linguistic environments. As a result, "local" rap with native lyrics can be found in many parts of the world today, including most, if not all, European countries. While the global spread of rap music is often mentioned in hip-hop studies (Toop xii; Potter 10), few attempts have been made to describe the development of hip-hop culture and rap music in non-English-speaking countries. As far as Europe is concerned, a number of authors have pointed to the gradual "emancipation" of rap from its U.S.-American model, for example: Boucher for France, Willis for the UK, Sansone for the Netherlands, Schneider for Germany, and Scholz ("Aneignung," "Un caso") for Italy. However, virtually no attempt has been made to compare local variants of rap with one another or to examine how this emancipation process is reflected in rap lyrics. The aim of this study is to trace the appropriation of hip-hop culture and rap music in a number of European countries. Our working definition of appropriation is the productive use of an originally imported cultural pattern. In a concrete sense, appropriation of rap music starts when rap fans not only listen to imported records, but start performing the genre themselves. In more general terms, appropriation can be conceived as local instantiation of a globally available cultural form. Thus the topic of this article is connected to a major concern of recent research discussed by, among others, Kunczik, Lull, and Waters: the reterritorialization (or indigenization) of globally available popular culture in various communuties. The appropriation of hip-hop and rap in Europe will be discussed from both a sociohistorical and a textual-semiotic point of view. The first part of this article offers an overview of local rap and hip hop in five European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Greece.' On the basis of published research, mass media resources, and our own fieldwork, we will discuss the development of a native hip-hop culture and market in these countries. The remainder of the article will focus on strategies of appropriation that are typical for a central component of hip-hop, namely rap music. While we acknowledge the importance of
ISSN 0300-7766 print/ISSN 1740-1712 online/03/040463-17 ( 2003 Taylor &Francis Ltd DOI: 10.1080/0300776032000144922

In Italy. the first references to a native hip-hop scene go back to 1987. and rhyme structures. in 1984 with just 1.3 In Germany. our approach concentrates on the textual analysis of rap discourse. After discussing the emergence of hip-hop activities in each country and the ethnic composition of the rap bands in our sample. is manifested in the work of European rap artists. with particular cities being especially important in each country. it was a band called Die Fantastischen Vier (The Fantastic Four) that made German-speaking rap widely successful from 1992 on. we will examine various aspects of verbal and nonverbal rap discourse. Although the first rap productions in German were released in the late 1980s. Italian. French. Bologna. we give a short overview of documentation and scholarly research in each country.e.464 Androutsopoulos and Scholz ethnographic research.S. in 1994. Italian rap was made popular by Jovanotti. not all points will be covered in the same detail for all the countries concerned. etc. released the very first French rap album. Paname City Rappin. but participating artists eventually fell victim to a commercialization that came too soon (Toner 111-12). Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. we then explore the infrastructure of national hip-hop scenes. developments. and Rome in Italy. the use of vernacular speech. A short history of hip-hop culture in five European countries Our brief account of hip-hop culture in France. such as Paris and Marseille in France. The development of a hip-hop scene in Madrid finally led to the establishment of the first Spanish rap label. specialized music labels. The first real star of French-speaking rap was. In Greece. 2 We will attempt to work out how the process of "cultural reterritorialization. Our leading questions are: How do German. the development of national scenes and markets is essentially a phenomenon of the 1990s. Berlin and Stuttgart in Germany. rap artists go about conveying the local anchorage of their discourse? How are the global and the local elements of hip-hop culture balanced in their songs? On the basis of a sample of 50 rap songs for each country. Bocquet and Pierre-Adolphe date the beginnings of rap reception back to the early 1980s in Paris. Italy. MC Solaar with his 1991 album Qui seme le vent recolte le tempo. centers for alternative culture that were set up in squat buildings. i. targeting the mainstream market rather than the rap scene. In France. Finally. the selection of song topics. described in terms of record releases per year. Germany. such as the use of sound samples." as described by Lull. Turin. The beginnings of Spanish rap in 1989/1990 were marked by the attempt of major labels to impose the rap trend on the national market. rap and raggamuffin were adopted in the early 1980s in so-called centri sociali. and Greece is organized as follows. Although the first traces of hip-hop culture in Europe go back to the early and mid-1980s. but native rap CDs were not released there until the mid 1990s. who adopted it as an innovative variant of traditional Italian pop song. Dee Nasty. however. etc. Milan.000 copies. Hamburg. it was often the success of individual artists that opened the way for a nationwide scene. media coverage. One of the most prominent figures of this early phase. and Athens in Greece. Owing to the fact that the documentation available so far is rather unequal. Hip-hop scenes develop mainly in urban settings. In discussing the . However. the most popular aspects of hip-hop culture in the early 1980s were graffiti and breakdancing. Zona Bruta (Brutal Zone). Similar to U. Spain.

and late nineties. Pr6vos 69. the Bretonian band Manau) being quite small. In particular. 4 465 constitution of hip-hop culture in Europe. and included topics like love and everyday life in their lyrics. were technically more sophisticated as well as more commercially oriented." Active Member rather "protest-oriented. had a less militant stance. Our Spanish data include only three releases until 1995. but generally higher in the north of Europe than in the south. The percentage of bands with at least one member of migrant origin ranges in our sample from 92 percent for France to 60 percent for Germany. Within a national scene. African. 4 percent for Italy. and sexist attitudes on the part of male rappers do exist (Boucher 221. which is dominated by eight to ten groups with two or more CD releases each. Owing to the relatively small size of the scene. artist collectives of this kind constitute an innovative marketing strategy.S. presumably as a result of . Second-generation Italian rappers of the mid. Hip-hop culture generally involves a kind of "generational conflict. on the other hand. a number of social and cultural factors such as gender. whereby the success of one member can open the way for others as well. Italian. rap albums climbed from four in 1990 to twenty-one in 1994. French-speaking rap is almost completely a product of artists of Arab." Razzastar more "romantic." while Ta Imiskoumbria (the Half Sardines) endorse a jocular style. with 32 percent for Spain. The number of rap productions grew constantly and rapidly in the 1990s throughout Europe. As for ethnicity. No. 75). and Spanish descent. In France. As far as gender is concerned. the number of rap artists of migrant descent is quite variable. the male dominance of rap discourse that is typical for the United States (Rose 146-82) is by and large reproduced in the European context. for instance. first-generation rappers of the early nineties endorsed a politicized and militant stance.. reached a peak of 76 albums in 1996. Figure 1 shows all the French." as in the case of Sarda Famiglia Krikka (Sardinian Family Clique. and differences in music style must be taken into consideration. and in Spain of African origin. 26. the number of native French rappers (e. The names of these clans often connote a kind of "tribal togetherness." the poles of which are often referred to as "old school" versus "new school. generational differences. topics like ethnic identity and everyday racism constitute a considerable part of French rap lyrics (Boucher 183. particular cities and bands develop individual artistic profiles. An example is the Greek rap scene. Following the practices of U. Freestyle Productions in Greece." In Italy. and then dropped. artists such as Wu-Tang Clan. 226). ethnicity. European hip-hop too has witnessed the formation of artist collectives. The findings demonstrate the impressive increase of record releases in all three countries. At the same time. In Germany. rappers of migrant descent are especially of Turkish and Italian origin. there is a clear stylistic differentiation among these bands: Terror X Crew and Nebma (Gesture) are considered "hardcore. and used rap and raggamuffin as vehicles of political and social protest. but eighteen releases in 1999. and Le Circle Vicieux (the Vicious Circle) in France (Boucher 251). Scholz "Aneignung" 241). there are many fewer of them. Italian rap releases rose from one album per year in 1990 and 1991 to 29 albums in 1999. and Spanish rap CD releases we were able to document in these ten years. Vol.PopularMusic and Society. for example Area Cronica (Chronic Area) in Italy.g. In particular. Although female rappers are active in all the countries we have investigated. and Zondani Nekri (the Living Dead) present a Greek version of gangsta rap. and 0 percent for Greece. As a consequence.

Greek rap is released almost exclusively by major labels. A considerable number of these records are released by small labels that grow from within the scenes and handle mostly or exclusively rap music. excluding maxi CDs and vinyl releases.466 Androutsopotulos and Scholz uo40 40 400 /46 45 z 30 20 6 10 0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 J8 1. Yo Gano (I Win) and La Madre (The Mother) from Madrid. . The relevant print media range from commercial magazines with a nationwide distribution 4 to short-lived and locally distributed fanzines. M-Pire Records (Mannheim). German labels include Deck 8 (Dortmund). as has beent the case with the Italian AL Magazine. while Greek rap productions in the same period amount to around 30 CDs. and Area Cronica and Unda Funk Records from Turin (Pacoda Hip hop italiano 51-53). Producciones Pollicidas (Chicken-cide Productions) from Zaragoza. 18 1999 Figure 1. our data include 331 rap albums for France. At the same time. For instance. 118 albums for Italy. and documented. Rap CD releases in France. and 52 albums for Spain as of the end of 1999. which began in Genoa in 1991 as a photocopied local fanzine and developed into Italy's leading hip-hop magazine by the end of the 1990s. Italian rap labels include Mandibola Records (Lower Jaw Records) from Rome. Some of these may eventually become professional publications. major labels have recognized the potential of native rap and come into the market in various ways. Note that these figures concern full CD albums only. and Spain from 1990 to 1999 (based on authors' record archives and media documentation). the Italian label Best Sound is a sublabel of BMG-Ariola. by specialized media of various kinds. Hip-hop's media infrastructure also includes specialized programs on radio and music television. Yo Mama (Hamburg). market saturation. The development of native hip-hop is prompted. As a whole. Avoid Records from Valencia. Italy. to 39 in 1998 and 45 in 1999. The whole range of mediated representations of hip-hop culture seems to be most fully developed in Germany. and the German label Four Music is distributed by Sony. the latter having a rather restricted distribution and thus being more difficult to document. and Rap Nation (Braunschweig). Spanish ones include Zona Bruta. Put da needle to da groove (Ruhr area). and Zeroporsiento (Zero Percent) from Seville. and private and commercial websites.

. the formation of a cultural territory is a complex process that involves three distinct phases (145-64). Its starting point is deterritorialization. we can view appropriation of rap in Europe as the emergence of a new cultural territory. Finally. One of the first publications on rap in Europe was the French study by Lapassade and Rousselot. influence each other. and the intention to work on the improvement and growth of the national scene. 26.PopularMusic and Society. and indigenization. We will now define each of these concepts and relate them to the concerns of this article. video clips. both the local productivity and the market size of hip-hop culture in these five countries differ considerably. Rap in Europe-a new cultural territory Following a framework proposed by James Lull. producers. magazines. Recently. The volumes by Krekow and Steiner. As for Germany. the extraction of a cultural pattern from its original social context." This statement covers both a comparison to other European scenes. Transculturation "refers to a process in which cultural forms literally move through time and space where they interact with other cultural forms. Indeed. there is a sense of evolution and growth on each national scene..e. Spanish publications are restricted to a few articles in mainstream music magazines. which provides further resources on Greek hip-hop and to occasional music press coverage. and Milon adopt a more sociological point of view. Plastino provides an ethnographic study that emphasizes the relation between native music traditions and imported genres like rap and raggamuffin. cultural melding and mediation. According to Lull. films. this has been the case with the international spread of rap as well: during the 1980s a whole range of media genres (records. hip-hop started drawing considerable scholarly interest. during the second author's field research in Madrid in March 1999. hybridization. a hip-hop activist and owner of a music store pointed out that "we are only in the beginning. and Feser et al. documentation of the Greek scene is restricted to a graffiti album by losifidis. In Italy. and produce new forms" (Lull 153).. However. i.e. Pacoda (Hip hop italiano) presented a historical overview that includes interviews with rappers. the number of Spanish rap artists and CDs has continued to increase ever since. and Verlan and Loh document the rise of hip hop in Germany through interviews with artists and activists. Schneider discusses rap's rhetoric of violence from a social-psychological point of view. Participants are more or less informed about the development of hip-hop culture on an international scale and conscious of their position relative to other European countries. present an ethnographic and stylistic analysis of an amateur rap band. Pacoda (Potere alla parola) and Depaoli offer annotated anthologies of rap lyrics. Recent French publications by Bazin. consists of three distinct cultural interactions: transculturation. its endpoint is reterritorialization. while Toner's full-length book on hip hop includes only a marginal treatment of the Spanish scene.and late 1990s. The crucial middle phase. Significantly. 4 467 In the mid. "many cultural crossings are made possible by the mass media and culture industries" (153). the integration of this cultural pattern into a new society. which the local activist was familiar with. As our survey shows. which combined anthropological and linguistic perspectives. Vol. As Lull points out. Lull repeatedly refers to rap as an example of these phenomena. No. Indeed. By way of anecdotal evidence. and editors of hip-hop magazines as well as annotated lyrics. i. Boucher.

imported cadence and attitude of rap is appropriated by Indonesian musicians. (156-57) Although the distinction between indigenization and hybridization is not completely clear in Lull's account (e." or are trying to expand "their style in their mother tongue. researchers draw on texts in the broadest sense of the term. stamped t-shirts. including local sound elements. The unfamiliar.g.. and some of its structural elements may not change substantially." 5 Such claims of indigenization do not necessarily mean that the model role of U. once again. and situations. The following excerpt from a review of the Greek scene vividly illustrates the role of media consumption and rap-star concerts in the initial formation phase of the Greek scene. this time in Indonesia. Boyz [sic] in the Hood. trans. Lull's examples include advertisement posters. N. indigenization of . As Lull writes: consider what happens when rap music is exported to a place like Indonesia. the hybrid character of rap music in Europe is manifest in different facets of sound and text. In order to demonstrate processes of cultural melding and mediation. The example used is." The example used by Lull is "the global flow of rap music in the 1990s" that resulted in mixtures of rap with local pop music (155). Often their imagination was fueled by classic ghetto movies: Do the Right Thing. they clearly indicate that participants are engaging in a symbolic struggle for cultural autonomy. In a similar manner.W.) delivered essential impulses for the spread of hip-hop culture among young people in Europe. we understand indigenization as the outcome. Friday. It was then that boys with NBA shirts.. signs and artifacts of different kinds and varying complexity. or endpoint. and sneakers appeared for the first time.e. we suggest that transculturation of hip hop and rap to Europe was essentially a mediated process: We have to admit that the catalyst for the spread of hip hop in Greece were the popular American groups and artists of the early 1990s: Public Enemy. whereby simple imitation of the "mother" culture is rejected in favor of a creative integration of rap into the host culture. of the melding-and-mediation process. Although there is an awareness of its foreign origin. And of course the concert of Chuck D and his crew. rap is rejected altogether.468 Androutsopoulos and Scholz etc. New Jack City. As we suggest in the remainder of this article. and references to local topics and institutions. shop signs. baseball caps. etc. However. An indigenized cultural pattern is integrated into the artistic repertoire of the host society. rap.S. conditions. i. the propriated as a native form of expression. and. JKA) The second process in the melding-and-mediation phase-hybridization-refers to the contact and mixture of new and familiar cultural forms that leads to the formation of "cultural hybrids. the above quote refers to both "indigenized" sounds and a "musical hybrid"). Tresspass [sic]. Indonesian rap is sung in local languages with lyrics that refer to local personalities. as a consequence. (Kolovos 8. Evidence for this is pattern is now ap 5 provided by rappers who declare that they are "fighting for French-speaking rap. But the sounds become indigenized at the same time. Ice-T." are rapping in the language named "in their passport. Lull's third cultural interaction-indigenization-"means that imported cultural forms take on local features" (155-56). it is not felt to be "alien" anymore. The musical hybrid is an amalgam of American black culture and Indonesian culture.A. native vernaculars. Although we do not claim that the relevant media input or the precise year of its reception was the same in all countries concerned.

A second picture inside the booklet shows the band drinking wine and features the Italian flag on the right background. song topics. images. These are the members' turned-around baseball caps and the lettering of the record title. rapping in native speech is the starting point for the genre's reterritorialization. typography. they are nevertheless quite important for the self-presentation of the artists. Following Kress and van Leeuven. the use of sound samples. Thus. graffiti. Hence a multimodal analysis of record covers may provide important evidence for the appropriation processes we are interested in. It consists of the sound material of the CD itself and the verbal and visual material of the CD cover and booklet. It is the cover of Messa di vespiri. The focus of this article on rap lyrics is justified by the fact that lyrics form a substantial and distinctive component of rap music. such as clothing. 2). A further salient visual element is a large tattoo on the left man's arm. both of which are popular in hip-hop on an international scale. Articolo 31 claimed "spaghetti funk" as their own genre creation. The CD cover (Fig.PopuilarMusic and Society." This is a witty juxtaposition of two terms that come from quite different domains-spaghetti is a gastronomical term of Italian origin. While record cover and booklet are certainly peripheral in terms of artistic value. Judging from lyrics and interviews. and various promotional texts. etc. the "spaghetti western" (i. At the same time. No. 4 469 hip-hop culture can be illustrated through a variety of signs and behavior patterns. Messa di vespiri. and places the band's activity into historical perspective. the phrase alludes to an earlier instance of cultural appropriation. we suggest that record covers and booklets convey meaning through all of the semiotic resources of which they are composed: language. other visual elements establish a connection to international hip-hop culture. 26. Our subsequent discussion of appropriation strategies will consider five different aspects of rap discourse: the graphic design of rap CDs. Gothic typeface and graffiti style. which integrates Italian melody into rap music. In an interview with Fly Cat. rap songs do not consist only of lyrics. In fact. "spaghetti funk" immediately presents the band's work as a cultural hybrid. The multimodal construction of a hybrid identity Every vinyl or CD record is a semiotically complex textual unit. and layout. dancing practices.e. Moreover. In addition. It comes in two different typographic styles. but rather to be expected on the arms of seamen or convicts). Vol. acknowledgments. Italian western films of the 1960s). which includes pictures. large demijohns of red wine..6 a 1994 CD release by one of the best known Italian rap bands. Both the flag and the tattoo reinforce the national affiliation of the actors. Fig. the use of vernacular speech. . representing the shape of Italy formed out of skulls on a blood-red background. However. but extends to CD booklets and other promotional material. and the self-presentation of rap artists through text is not restricted to the songs. Articolo 31 (Article 31. and chunks of parmesan cheese. we will restrict our discussion to a particularly suitable example. 2) features the band members at a dinner table that is loaded with spaghetti. and funk is a term from African-American popular music. the tattoo can also be read as a claim to toughness and subcultural identification (since a tattoo of this kind is not a mainstream practice. Since an extensive analysis of CD covers is outside the scope of this article. The band's philosophy with respect to rap is epitomized in the notion of "spaghetti funk. this phrase has a prominent position in the band's artistic discourse. and the rhyme properties of "native" rap.

multiple sound collages. street sounds. such as songs. Reproduced by kind permission of Best Sound/BMG Italia. . and establish connections to music history (Potter 117). The band draws on stereotyped imagery of national popular culture and attributes of global hip-hop in order to make graphic the hybridization philosophy behind its "spaghetti funk.470 Androutsopoulos and Scholz Figure 2. Certain sorts of sampled material." Although this is by no means a representative cover for European rap records in general. are arranged to create dense. commercials. TV series. The selection of samples can express affiliation with favorite artists or cultural icons. of the relentless sampling of sonic and verbal archives" (53). it does provide an excellent illustration of how a "local" instantiation of the "global" genre is visually encoded. Besides its aesthetic value. sampling is also "a process of cultural literacy and intertextual reference" (Rose 89-90). thus enhancing the social criticism already immanent in rap discourse. can be used as "a straightforward way to signal political awareness" (Potter 44). etc. Bits and pieces from various sonic sources. "the fundamental practice of hip hop is one of citation. such as political speech and mass media coverage. Cover of Messa di vespiri by Articolo 31. As Potter points out. film scenes. Sampling local sounds The extensive use of sampling is a quite distinctive feature of rap music.

" which portrays ghetto life and criminal action. origin. mass media samples.e.S. alongside samples of U. broadly defined as talk about oneself and the crew one belongs to. Here. In this song. a song called "Die Kraft der Gemeinschaft" (The power of community) by German rappers Cheech and lakone includes two different citations. A closer look reveals that they are taken from various domains. alluding as it does to cannabis use through the sound of the water pipe. French. This sound collage can be read as a statement of continuity in popular music. Significantly. For instance. Mixing yesterday's native folk music and today's rap. which are partly associated with differences in music style. local sampled material can be found. rap. a local sample can itself become the focus of attention. seven song topic categories were inductively worked out based on a sample of 50 songs for each country. Greek rappers Terror X Crew are sampling traditional renibetilco music. in which a Greek rembetilco song from the 1920s that features the bubbling sound of a water pipe is mixed with hip-hop beats. these categories reflect the genre's chronological evolution as a whole. the mid. local sonic material can be used with critical or subversive intentions. However. 4 471 Since sampling is a constitutive structural part of rap music. In a content analysis of German.. German rappers Die Firma (the Firm) use dialogues from The Godfather. and even poetry. The textual integration of this material is quite variable. "enemy" voices are instantiated and remixed "in ways that highlight their absurdity" (Potter 76). Local samples are not very frequent. Greek rappers Terror X Crew feature a short instrumental called "O DJ Alx ston teke" (DJ Alx in the pot-house). No. While early rap was dominated by party or fun lyrics. An extract from the folk song "Wir sind aus Kassel" (We are from Kassel) builds the song's intro. While some "local" samples are just a part of the song's rhythm or melodic structure. For instance. and do not necessarily hold true for individual artists or for all of European rap. In other cases. talk about sociopolitical issues ." which focuses on social problems and protests against social injustice.to late 1980s witnessed the rise of "message rap. voices of police officers and other authorities talking about graffiti are mixed with "silly" background sounds and the band's own beats. contemporary popular music. and social criticism. Moreover.S. Vol. in all countries dealt with in this article.PopularMusic and Society. 26. it is naturally found in all local variants of the genre. The two most frequent categories were self-presentation. and the voice of an operator saying "Telefonauskunft Kassel" (telephone information Kassel) is repeated at various points in the song. and the late 1980s to early 1990s saw the advance of "gangsta rap. i. An example is a song called "Graffiti contra" by the German group Too Strong. The two samples create a witty contrast to the rest of the song by contextualizing the artists' local origin. Expressing local concerns Potter and Stapleton classify rap lyrics into three major categories. the DJ connects musical past and present in a manner not dissimilar to the use of funk samples of the 1970s in contemporary U. but usually appear just once or twice on a CD. such as traditional folk music. and Italian lyrics by Androutsopoulos and Scholz. To give an example for each case. and German rappers Anarchist Academy recite a nineteenth-century romantic poem by Heinrich von Kleist. Italian artists Articolo 31 are sampling Lucio Dalla. others are discursively connected to the song topic. Finally. this mix also positions the artists outside of mainstream society.

such as love. French rap lyrics abound with references to beurs and noirs.and late 1990s witnessed a dechne of the socially critical discourse that prevailed in the early 1990s. Taken together." i. and almost 50 percent of the French data. corruption. such as poverty. xenophobia. While European rap artists may listen to (and look up to) U. They portray living conditions in the banlieue (suburbs) and talk about "l'homme noir exploite. murder. Remarkably. If an essential aspect of rap discourse is to reflect "urban lived experience" (Rose 102). while .S. As a Greek commentator puts it. such as discrimination. however. deracine. However. "Greek criminals and convicts do not listen to hip-hop" (Kolovos 8.472 Androutsopoulos and Scholz affecting the rappers and their social context. one of the most prominent currents of U. migrants of Arab and African descent. Similar is the case of the Greek group Zondani Nekri (Living Dead). The situation is quite different in Italy and Greece. the mid. or "blacks. We suggest that the reason for this is the fundamentally different social base of hip-hop culture in Europe. sex. A detailed content analysis of 100 Italian rap songs from 1992 to 1999 reveals that topics that are not specific to rap music. reterritorialized rap lyrics retain their function as social commentary (Rose 99-124).e. which is a calque on the then popular U. Socially critical rap from these countries talks about more general social problems. these are exceptions to the rule and are sometimes considered exaggerated by critics and other rappers. On the whole. self-presentation and social criticism songs made up almost half of our sample for each country. the percentage of love or sex raps in this sample was just 7 percent in 1996. In countries with a large number of rap artists from a migrant background. trans. an amateur group consisting of migrant youths. where the hip-hop communities hardly include any migrants. this discourse is epitomized in the 1993 title "Fremd im eigenen Land" (A foreigner in one's own land) by pioneering rap band Advanced Chemistry.S. increased in frequency (Scholz "Un caso"). consumerism. title Body Count by Ice-T. Additional topics are the local or national hip-hop scene. Feser et al. drug abuse. etc. crime. drug abuse.S. gangsta rap did not really "catch on" in Europe. and scenes of everyday life. parties and fun. but 26 percent in 1999.e. and demonstrations of toughness. Thus. and everyday life. some instances of gangsta-rap style are to be found in Europe. In Germany. Still in Germany. Certainly. such as France and Germany. In particular. gangsta rap. it is consumed but not productively appropriated. their own lyrics are expected to represent their own social environment. suggesting that the protest song tradition of message rap is being continued in Europe. rap in the 1990sgangsta rap-is virtually absent from our data. by JKA). For example. then simply copying an imported narrative will clearly not meet the expectations. but the conditions they comment upon are somewhat different in each country. love and romance. the living conditions reflected in gangsta rap hardly have a direct equivalent in the lives of European rap artists and fans. a German release from 1993 was called Leichenz2hler." 7 the exploited and uprooted black man in search of a sense of identity. In particular. The ranking of song topics referred to at the beginning of this section gradually changed during the 1990s. Rap songs that focus on social criticism make up about 20 percent of our Italian and German data. many of the socially critical raps deal with migration related problems. For instance. discuss the gangsta-style lyrics of Midnite Sonz. and the problematic identities of young people of foreign descent. imprisonment. i.. whose lyrics are dominated by narratives of robbery.

Boucher 35. i. The heavy use of vernacular speech in rap lyrics underscores the subversiveness of hip hop with respect to mainstream culture and its consonance with vemacular cultural values. with 30-35 percent for the first and 10-20 percent for the second topic. this is not for wimps)/lyrics for the real motherfucker.S. On this base.e. 4 473 socially critical raps dropped from 43 percent in 1995 to 9 percent in 1999. the precise use of which depends on the linguistic repertoires and language attitudes of each speech community. the English segment additionally helps to . Some of these refer to major topics and activities of rap music and hip-hop culture. the dominant language of the society the rappers live and work in. the sociolinguistics of European rap differs dramatically from its U. and ethnic dialects." "funk. it sustains a connection to the genre's original linguistic code." "blunt" (joint). Toop 29-34). 26. such as the "sounding" or "playing the dozens" studied by William Labov in the sixties (Potter 55-64..S. Vol. with regard to artists of migrant descent. and Italian songs we studied contain some English elements. Pr6vos 69)." Here. rappers also draw on U. In addition. as is the case with African-American vernacular English. A vivid example is a German song called "Dortmund represents. rap are African-American vernacular speech and traditions of oral rhetoric. (African-American) English." which contains the line. or "shit" in their speech. 17 out of 50 songs contain some dialectal features. Instead. "Trete zurulck. In our Italian sample. and even complete English utterances and refrains. such as France and Germany. A characteristic feature of European rap lyrics is the widespread use of (American) English material.S. as is the case in Italy and Germany." i." "diss. At the same time. No. In countries with large migrant communities.PopularMusic and Society. including items such as "bitch. and turned it into a "resistance vernacular. counterpart. French.e. A similar vernacular orientation is essentially confirmed for rap in Europe as well (Androutsopoulos and Scholz. Lapassade and Rousselot 92. dies ist nichts fur kleine Kacker (Step back." English formulaic expressions. Drawing on vernacular and English resources The language of rap lyrics in Europe is almost categorically native speech or. self-referential boasting and talk about the hip-hop scene. a positively valued linguistic code (57). songs from all three countries are also found to contain English interjections such as "yeah" and "yo. remained more or less stable over the years. rap discourse explores various resources provided by the linguistic repertoire of the speech community. For instance. social. and some are even completely rapped in dialect." At the same time. rap took a traditionally disempowering language variety.. African-American vernacular English. for example "freestyle. hip-hop slang. regional dialects appear more frequently in rap songs in societies in which they are generally vital and prestigious. European rappers draw on a variety of regional. According to Potter. However. It is widely acknowledged that the major linguistic resources of U.e. i. rappers who have a migrant background themselves or socialize in ethnically mixed peer groups may integrate fragments of migrant languages such as Arabic or Turkish into their lyrics. in that there is no single language variety that dominates European rap lyrics. More than 60 percent of the German." and "skills. Two other topics that are quite specific to rap." "flow.

. This goes back to the fact that rapping emerged from everyday vernacular rhetoric. meter. Beltrami 62-65).e. music"). which is determined by the interrelated factors of rhythm and rhyme (Rose 64-65. an interest that often comes from social groups without any strong connections to traditional "high" poetry. in the musical structure of rap songs. be classified as a specific meter within Italian poetry. rhyme. Nevertheless. Indeed. Some of these traditions are metric conventions. both pronounced ['itfi]. but there are no corresponding verse units. the following extract from an Italian rap song9 "flows" on a sequence of rhythm units. Its counterpart is the rhyme priority: the fact that rhyme and other forms of sound repetition (such as alliteration and assonance) are structuring principles for the arrangement of rap lyrics. rap is profoundly different. i. Unlike other genres of popular music. "giostro sopra la ritrnica" (I'll spin round the rhythm). not only from other contemporary pop genres but also from national poetic traditions generally. The subcultural prestige in European rap of vernacular English is amply demonstrated by its use in company names. The rhythmic priority of rap music favors a reciting style that is closer to spoken language. rap lyrics are subject to rhythm restrictions and are. -ili ['ili] in lines 1-2. rap lyrics are not sung. Examples from our data include phrases such as "je rime comme a perpete" (I'll be rhyming forever'). but recited. and flow. rhythm) has priority over melody. At the same time. By contrast. capital letters indicate the onset of the . but also its calques in their native speech. 8 The prevalence of rhythm and rhyme in rap texts also means that the popularity of rapping brings with it a new interest in and attention to formal and aesthetic aspects of text production. X (est) dans la place in French. therefore. 87-88). a connection to traditional poetry is achieved by the rhyme that marks the end of each line." according to Mitchell-Kernan (171)-was part of everyday speech well before the hip-hop era. and "tener miedo de cada palabra rimada" (be afraid of each rhyming word). often arranged to suit preselected beat patterns. For instance. for instance Scheiss in German (as in heisser Scheiss [hot shit]) and merda in Italian.474 Androutsopoutlos and Scholz convey a sense of toughness and subcultural expertise. However. which are constitutive for certain genres such as Italian and French canzone (Coenen 160-61). Native rhymes-a renaissance of vernacular lyrics in Europe? Besides their content and language style. and -ici/-ichie. rap lyrics are characterized by their particular form. English items provide input for the creation of a native stylistic repertoire. At the same time. beat (i.e. the style of speech known as rapping-"a lively and fluent way of talking. rappers do not just use the loanword "shit" (in the vernacular meaning of "stuff. Similarly. To give an example. The six verses of the excerpt are eleven to fifteen syllables long and cannot. the rhetorical formula "X is in the house" (where X is the name of the performing artist) is also attested as X ist im Saal in German. in fact. Metrics generally describes the formal arrangement of lines without taking into consideration any features of the accompanying music (Coenen xii. in lines 5-6. from the viewpoint of its new host societies. as in the German label names Yo Mama and Put da needle to da groove. and X (estd) en la casa in Spanish. In the transcript that follows. -ini ['ini] in lines 3-4. The importance of formal arrangement for rap lyrics in Europe is amply demonstrated by frequent references to the concepts of rhythm.

and Italy) from "smaller" ones (such as Spain and Greece).g. Hip-hop culture and rap music are transmitted to new societies and gain fans there (transculturation). regardless of the country it comes from and the language it is recited in. French. alliteration (in stila/stili and fili/feeling). Second. in which the rapper praises the band's music and his own recitation style. First. With regard to music. No. the excerpt features various kinds of sound repetition and play. In fact. Martini. Germany. martinii/tortellini. Vol. ones is an important.e. Finally. rap in Europe follows traditions established by . and discussed a number of factors that distinguish "big" markets (such as France. a piece of discourse in which form and association are more important than a coherent denotative meaning. the use of local citations next to U. and intertextual references that derive from quite different domains. 26. formal arrangement.vici/cici/bici/Richie). who is frequently pictured on his racing bike by the mass media. On a content level. and eventually become integrated into native cultural repertoires (indigenization). "Venii vidi vici" (line 5). They are then actively performed and adjusted to local conditions (hybridization).. All these elements work together to produce what Potter (81) calls "linguistic slippage. and intertextual play is highly characteristic of much of our European rap material. and salient. 4. or Greek) rap band can begin with the graphic design of a CD's cover and booklet. hip-hop established itself in most European countries as a new cultural territory that emerged through a process of reterritorialization.. and the numbers in parentheses at the end of each line indicate the number of syllables of each verse. the rapper compares the effect of his music to chili. Italian.PoputlarMusic and Society. The lyrics abound with similes. our study looked at hip hop and rap as a new niche in the music and media market. DImmi com'6 che Snefs stila 'sti still (11) FIla in fila 'sti fill vai di feeling a chili ['kili] (15) tipo CHIli ['tfili] ti strina funky piu che il Martini (15) tortelLIni 'sti loops che c'ho fini piu di Fini (14) VEni vidi vici cici a giro in bici (14) 10 FACcio all night long come Lionel Richie (12) In addition. 3. Each of them reveals a different facet of the interplay of "global" and "local" aspects of rap discourse.S. is of course. 4 475 rhythmic units. and the phrase "a giro in bici" (going around by bike) in line 5 is perhaps an allusion to Italian politician Romano Prodi." i. 2. this coexistence of self-referentiality. Self-positioning as a "local" (e. 5. and tortellini. this excerpt demonstrates a number of characteristic rhetorical strategies of rap lyrics. 1. allusions." On a formal level. and rhyme (in kili/chili. and the proper name Fini in line 4 is probably a vinegar brand. component of hybridization. Summary and conclusions During the 1990s. line 6 refers to the African-American artist Lionel Richie and his well-known song "All night long. The results of this study suggest that there is a variety of appropriation procedures on different levels of textual organization. such as homophony (in fila/fila and fini/Fini). The content is a typical example of self-presentation lyrics. In lines 3 and 4. characteristic patterns of the hybridization and indigenization of rap were examined. Caesar's well-known utterance. Two aspects of this complex process have been examined in more detail in this article. 6.

4. While these data are restricted by the fact that only CDs are taken into consideration (thus excluding vinyl and audiotape releases). If all facets of appropriation examined in this article could be summarized under one prevailing label. This is a wordplay on the French equivalent of the phrase "to sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. whirlwind) is replaced by tempo. sociosymbolic. and Passi. Being a local representative of a global cultural discourse is. 2. through its juxtaposition with "il sogno americano. At the same time. Overall. Notes 1. To close with one more Italian example by Articolo 31: "e per favore non diciamo che in testa abbiamo il sogno americano/ al limite il sogno di Cologno" (and please don't think we have in mind the American dream/it's the Cologno dream at best). with around 250 CDs having been used and including both stars and newcomer artists for each country. LAM. include artists such as MC Solaar. For our sample. of course. ." whereby the word tempete (storm. Cologno rhymes with sogno. The importance of English for reterritorialized rap discourse is at once referential. they are substantial in both number and breadth. 1991. for instance. AL Magazine. and. Lull's conception of cultural reterritorialization as a "process of active cultural selection and synthesis drawing from the familiar and the new" (161). The choice of these particular countries is a result of the authors' familiarity with the respective languages and cultures. because one of the imperatives of rap discourse is to express local concerns and to reflect local social realities. we suggested that the popularity of rap in Europe established a new form of lyrical tradition. These include Radikal and Groove in France. 5. rap can be said to trigger a renaissance of vernacular lyrics in Europe. France.S. however. a maximum of 50 CDs per country was selected and one track was randomly selected from each CD. 3. Germany. and aesthetic. The material for this study comes from the authors' private collections of rap CD releases in the five countries during the 1990s. fundamental to European rappers' self-understanding and discursive action. which is related neither to other pop genres nor to traditional poetry. "Fenster zum Hof" (Rear Window). Hip Hop nelleforme originali (Hip-hop in its original forms) in Italy. and Serie B (BSeries) and Game Over in Spain. The phrase "il sogno di Cologno" stands. Maniak Records. Juice and Backspin in Germany. and Italy are the largest hip-hop and rap markets in continental Europe. A link to a complete reference list is given in Androutsopoulos and Scholz." Here. Finally. we believe." for a claim of indigenization and emancipation from rap's "mother" culture. Manau. Quoted from: Sens Unik (One-way Street) "Le VIeme sens" (The sixth sense). but is not identical to it. the use of regional or social dialects or migrant languages is consonant with the genre's vernacular orientation. To the extent that rapping initiates or strengthens an interest in formal and aesthetic text production among young people with no particular connection to "high" poetry. these resources are quite specific to their respective society. Le Vieme Sens. In terms of language style. and vividly illustrate.476 Androutsopoulos and Scholz U. Stieber Twins. Supreme NTM. rap. then this could be the double bond of European rap discourse between a global and a local pole. the choice of the word Cologno is multiply motivated: as a place name-a subway station in Milan-it locates the artists as inhabitants of one of the main sites of Italian hip-hop culture. our findings confirm. The French data. Our study increases awareness of the fact that this double bond can be expressed in every single verse of rap.

De puta madre (Son of a Bitch). Articolo 31. Athens: Akti/Oxy. MZEE Records. Messa di vespiri is a jocular formation involving three words that are central to the band's self-understanding: messaggio (message). "On the Recontextualization of Hip-Hop in European Speech Communities. Michael. and Jens Steiner. Translation: (1) tell me why Snefs styles these styles/ (2) and puts in a row these threads feel good! by kilograms/ (3) like chili [my music] singes you funky more than Martini/ (4) these loops like tortellini that I have finer than Fini/ (5) veni vidi vici cici going round by bike/ (6) I do it all night long like Lionel Richie. Paris: L'Harmattan. Depaoli. "Soci. the word cici refers to a small. Berlin: Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf. Kunczik. La metrica italiana. roly-poly person.' In verse 5. Heavy Metal und Hard Rock. "Articolo 31. Rap. "Gran Finesse. Krekow. Tutti contro tutti. Zona Bruta. 1995. 1991. Die deutsche HipHop-Szene. Best Sound/BMG. 26. Georges. Expression des Lascars. Kolovos. Massimo. William. According to the booklet text. 1998. and Theo van Leeuwen. Boucher.htrn> Bazin. "IAM Concept. 1996. Significations et enjeux du Rap dans la societe fran." nl Mondo Che Non C'e (The World That's Not There). Kyriakos. Paris: Flammarion. "Un urlo" (A Scream). Space One. 2000. The Grammar of Visual Design. Bocquet. 1997. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. 10. "Tripp'n tranquilo" (Trippy and easy). "Jazz. 'Musik. Milan: Garzanti Scuola. ed. Pietro G. More precisely.PopularMutsic and Sociehy. Bologna: I1 Mulino. Best Sound/BMG. Paris: Descl6e de Brouwer. Hans Georg.de/phin/phinl9/pl9i. Jos6-Louis." AL Magazine: Hip Hop nelleforme originali 43 (2000): 30-34. Reading Images." Oxy Magazine 7 (1997): 6-11." De la planete Mars (From Planet Mars). el descerebrador" (Jazz the Debrainer). Philadelphia. Coenen. and Arno Scholz. Labov. Paris: Loris Talmart. Jannis K. Verdetto finale.fu-berlin. Rap. Feser. and Philippe Pierre-Adolphe.aise. PA: U of Pennsylvania P. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag. BlackOut/Universal. Giannis. while di vespiri is a blend of the two initial syllables of the other two words. Graffiti 2. 1997. 9.und Sprachstile: HipHop. 2000. Works cited Androutsopoulos." Jugenidliche und "ihre" Sprache. 1991. Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. divertimento (entertainment). Rap ou lafoureur de dire. and Andrej Schlobinski. 4 477 6. London: Routledge." PhiN: Philologie im Netz 19 (2002). Ein Lehr. "Globalisierung und Provinzialisierung von Kultur durch Massenkommunikation. Oliver. Beltrami. Rap ta France. Manuel. 9mm Recordz. Gunther. 63-100. El club de los poetas violentos (Club of Violent Poets). 1998. "Boots 'n' Sneakers. Fenster zum Hof." Publizistik Sonderheft 2 (1998): 257-73. Lapassade. 1996. Fly Cat. 1999. Iosifidis. messa (which also means "mess") is a clipped form of messaggio. 7. Ed. Chief & Soci. 8. IAM. Best Sound/BMG. Christian Macke. No. 1972. Une ball dans la tete (A Ball in the Head)." Chico Pisco (Pisco Boy). Vol. Hugues. and spiritualita(spirituality). Franzosische Verslehre. . 11. 1990. 1997. 1994. Diana Hillebrand. Bei uns geht Einiges. 1995. Neffa. Madrid Zona Bruta (Madrid Brutal Zone).. Online: <http:// www. Kress. 1998. and Philippe Rousselot. "Tutti contro tutti" (Everybody against everybody else). Cosi com' e (The Way it Is). La culture hip-lhop.und Arbeitsbuch. Sebastian. 1997. Labelle Noir/Virgin. Peter Schlobinski and Niels-Christian Heins. 1996.

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1996. I Polis Ealo. MZEE 031 EFA 11731-2. 1997. Stieber Twins.D. Tribehaus Recordings/Intercord Record Service. FM 421. Too Strong. CDMRL 482392. Jannis K. from Heidelberg University in 1997.069.PopularMusic and Society. Since 1997 he has been a lecturer for Romance Linguistics (Italian and French) at the University of Stuttgart. 1997. 1996. Terror X Crew. Englishl. Tuftti contro tttti. 4 479 Space One. No. and Italian rap. and received his Ph. His publications are in the areas of sociolinguisticsand linguistic media studies in German. CD. FM 1027. born in 1967. He is the author of Deutsche Jugendsprache and editor (together with Arno Scholz) of Jugendsprache-Langue des Jeunes-Youth Language bothl published in 1998. 1998. born in 1967. and Greek. from Heidelberg University in 1997. 0 Protos Tomos. 26. COM 13-221-2 IRS CD 984. CD.D. Since 2003 he is Junior Professor for Mediated Comiimunication at the University of Hannover. studied German Linguistics and Translation Studies at the unliversities of Athens (Greece) and Heidelberg (Germlany). FM Records. Intercityfunk. Best Sound/BMG Ricordi. Androutsopoulos. Arno Scholz. CD. studied Romance Languages and Literatures and Art History at the universities of Heidelberg (Germany) and Granada (Spain). Zondani Nekri. . Fenster zU111 Hof. youthl language. FM Records. MZEE Records/From Here to Fame GmbH. CD. CD. He has published Neostandard e variazione diafasica nella canzone italiana degli anni novanta (1998) as well as various articles about variationist linguistics. and received his Ph. Vol.

W. All rights reserved.html Copyright 1982-2003 The H.COPYRIGHT INFORMATION TITLE: Spaghetti Funk: Appropriations of Hip-Hop Culture and Rap Music in Europe SOURCE: Pop Music Soc 26 no4 D 2003 WN: 0333505000003 The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Wilson Company. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited.edu/colleges/library/press/pp0020. . To contact the publisher: http://www.bgsu.

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