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Rap am Mittwoch - Berlin’s Hip Hop Culture At Its Finest

October 10th, 2014
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News from Berlin - Rap am Mittwoch (Rap on Wednesday) is a Berlin-based rap battle league, which was founded in its current format in 2010, but whose roots trace back to Berlin underground cyphers of the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is similar to other leagues such as the Canadian KOTD, the English Dont Flop, and the American URL, in that all of the official battles are recorded and then uploaded on online video platforms. However, the increasing popularity of Rap am Mittwoch, with some battles reaching millions of views, is distinct in that all of its battles are free to watch online. In the case of most other major rap battle leagues, the video recordings may only be accessed on a pay-per-view basis, and only become free to watch after a certain amount of time. Thus, it is financed predominantly by the moderate entrance fee of 10€ for the events, which take place every second Wednesday at the Bi-Nuu Club in Berlin-Kreuzberg, as well as by sponsors and the merchandise sold at these events.

In the early 2000s the Berlin rap scene, characterized by dirty lyrics, innovative, electro-inflected instrumentals, and the bad boy image many of these new generation rappers assumed, became more and more dominant in the German hip hop scene, effectively dethroning the “nice guys” from Hamburg and Stuttgart. Some Berlin-based rappers such as Bushido and Sido were commercially successful, and continue to be among the most successful German rappers even today. Berlin rappers also repeatedly made headlines in German media for perpetrating criminal offenses, including shootings, stabbings, and batteries.

Rap am Mittwoch carries the rough tradition of Berlin rap further by glorifying hard-hitting verbal taunts and particularly fierce performances. Nevertheless, the atmosphere in general was very welcoming and peaceful, and the crowd as eclectic as the lyrics of the performers. However, a certain inclination towards the hip hop culture was, perhaps unsurprisingly, evident. The event lasted for approximately three hours, although this can vary, as following the main battle event, the denouement, one is invited to stay in the club. There are many opportunities to interact with the battle participants, as well as with the organizers, including the host. To conclude, Rap am Mittwoch is worth a visit for anyone who has a taste for hip hop and wants to gain an insight into the distinct character of the Berlin hip hop scene.

News from Berlin - Berlin Global