Tuesday, November 22, 2005
German Hip Hop Culture in the Holy Land
Sponsored by the Goethe Institute, the German rap group Blumentopf has embarked on a five-country tour designed to promote interest in German language and culture in the Middle East.
Blumentopf (German for flowerpot) took the stage in Nazareth dressed in full jerseys from the local soccer team. Before going on they were warned, "Be prepared: Arabs usually don't dance." That soon changed, however, when they launched into their single, "Macht Platz.". Buoyed by the 50 or so Germans in attendance -- mostly the children of German diplomats and volunteer workers -- the crowd gradually moved toward the stage and picked up the flow.
One of Germany's most successful and well-known hip-hop acts, Blumentopf is the first German rap group to tour the Middle East.
Marketing and advertizing for the tour is handled by Germany's Goethe Institute, which is spinning the tour as a kind of German cultural showcase. Blumentopf ads were plastered to the sides of city busses in Nazareth and the groups lyrics are translated into Arabic and passed out to the crowd at all of their shows.
Another way of generating local interest in a German-speaking act like Blumentopf -- who are relatively unknown in places like Ramallah or Amman -- is to showcase the group alongside local artists. Full article here
• Blumentopf website
• MP3: BLUMENTOPF - Von Disco zu Disco