The Mediterranean Hip Hop

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Lyrics: Leonidas
Presentation: Chris, Giorgis Nikas, Yiannis, Leonidas, Nikos Papoutsis, Yiorgos Doukas
Music Composition: Giorgis Nikas
Programming: Markos Pinakoulakis
Accordion: Yiannis
Bagpipe, lute, Baglamas: Giorgis Nikas
Contrabass: Manos Papadakis
Scratches: DJ Magnum
Artwork: Ioannis Ikonomakis
Year: 2017

Mixed and mastered by Panayiotis (Misdeal) at Clepsydra Studio

I was born in the South Bronx during rather poor times
Crisis of capitalism, social reductions
It took only one DJ, two turntables and two speakers
Later on they added a mic to entertain the square
At the beginning it was for fun, but the jokes slowly took substance
And so the poor and the excluded translated their rage into rhyme
The first autonomous parties, became spaces of expression for a whole generation
And the streets became the social centers of the neighborhood
They created an improvised dance for it to be danced alright
And they transformed the walls and the wagons into working-class galleries
But the industry and the domestic businessmen realized it
And very quickly the fifteen-syllable was captured and became commerce
The djs became divas and perfomed in the biggest clubs
And the Bboys danced in dancehalls and club halls
The graffities entered the ateliers in soho exhibitions
And instead of political hip hop gangsta and Cosa Nostra was promoted
But nothing is lost and that’s why
Anyone who knows will find me in a pirate ship
that sets sail for the places beyond
And as the old cassettes and the vinyls are spinning
I arrived here on the Mediterranean coast

I sprang out of a financial crisis
I am an improvised and self-organized music
Latinos and African-Americans are my parents
I carry the stamp of my class and my race
I am inventive and a word-moulder
When they sold me I became an immigrant
I set sail with a vinyl boat
I set roots here; I am the Mediterranean hip hop

My style is solid, unpretentious and raw
In Tunis I have caused a popular uprising
I am the voice that escapes from the checkpoints in Palestine
As well as the rhymes that the Bedouins invent in Benghazi
In Cairo I got under the dictator’s skin
I am folk poetry in the city of the Alexandrian poet (Kavafy)
I was the soundtrack of the poor in “The Marseilles Trilogy”
I was wanted by Assad during the Syria war
In Naples I am sung by the comrades
And in Barcelona immigrants at their new start
I ‘m wearing the voice of Fairuz in love
I am a sampled string-hit of old rebetiko
In the Bosphorus and the Aegean I set up my home
And in Crete they rap me accompanied by a lute
I know it seems strange, unusual, and maybe different
But try to rap the Ikariotikos dance in double-time
Take a bagpipe from the Aegean and let two violins sigh
And ask “Antipoina” to tell you whether bagpipe and rap match
And then come and find me with a rhythm like the pyrrhic
And let’s create together that Mediterranean Hip Hop

I sprang out of a financial crisis
I am an improvised and self-organized music
Latinos and African-Americans are my parents
I carry the stamp of my class and my race
I am inventive and a word-moulder
When they sold me I became an immigrant
I set sail with a vinyl boat
I set roots here; I am the Mediterranean hip hop