Hip-hop and Dutch identity

Our first event of the new year is coming up soon!

First and foremost, we want to say thank you for the patience – the wait is over! We are very excited to announce that we are ready to start the new season and share our gratitude with everyone for sticking with us through the quiet times. This especially goes to our collaborators, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and Musicology Department at UvA, as well as a newly joined Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis.

This year our events will continue to address topics connected to current musicological research and entail both academic discussion and artistic performance, thereby challenging artificial divides between artistic and academic work. Due to the last year’s success, we intend to tackle even more actual, thought-provoking and intertextual issues.

Event Announcement

Our first event of the new study year, Hip-hop and Dutch identity is coming up at Bitterzoet on the 12th of October. Be aware, that this is our first event held in Dutch!

During this night we will look at how hip-hop plays a role in the forming and performing of identity among Dutch youth. Dutch hip-hop has grown exponentially in the past few years, reaching a predominantly young following, partly through the proliferation of social media and streaming services. Using music as a tool of engagement with the society, such an expression of a non-white experience in the Netherlands is beginning to shape ties between “the multicultural” and the ‘everyday’, ‘messy’ and ‘emotional’, and, in turn, form a new imagination of the Dutch identity that is not based on a white, hegemonic centre, but rather is culturally diverse.

We start from the understanding that processes of identification have become more complicated than ever, with identities being influenced by both the local and the global. With hip-hop having developed from a small movement in the South Bronx in the 1970’s till perhaps the most popular music genre worldwide, it has become an essential part of youth cultures everywhere. Here, we ask: how does this work in the Netherlands?

Our Guests

Myrto Semmoh is the co-founder of SMIB, an independent creative organisation started in the Amsterdam Bijlmer. It is mostly seen as a hip-hop-collective, but consists, besides rappers and DJs, out of designers, writers, filmmakers and many more.  The music, mostly known from frontmen Ray Fuego and Yung NNelg, can be described as raw, urban rap, with a lot of punk influences. Myrto himself is a DJ, writer and all-round representative of SMIB. Under the name SoortKill, he collected hundreds of loanwords from Papiamento and Moroccan and Smib self-invented words and put them together in a SMIB dictionary.

Aafje de Roest is currently doing PhD research at the University of Leiden into cultural identity formation in online Dutch youth culture with a focus on Dutch hip-hop. Her project investigates how Dutch young people, especially with different backgrounds, use online hip hop culture to shape their cultural identity in a globalized context. Before this, she wrote her master thesis on the performance of ‘represent’ in the lyrics and performances of artists such as Broederliefde, Hef, Ares en Killer Kamal. For this thesis, she was awarded the Vliegenthart thesis award and she was praised for the courage to step off the beaten track. Listen to an interview with Aafje and rapper Ray Fuego on Radio 1 here: Rapper Ray Fuego: “Ik probeer deze generatie te omschrijven als een boek” – Focus met hiphop onderzoeker Aafje de Roest en rapper Ray Fuego

Said Salhi is the founder and director of the Marmoucha foundation. Marmoucha is the producer and promoter of more than 150 performances every year of North African arts and culture in the Netherlands and Dutch culture in Morocco. These performances range from traditional to modern and from pop music to classical. In collaboration with Paradiso, they have worked on developing the North African cultural scene in the Netherlands and expanding the reach of artists that are otherwise little heard.

Wouter Capitain is a PhD-candidate at ASCA and lecturer in popular music studies at the University of Utrecht and the University of Amsterdam. He specializes in postcolonial theory, popular music and opera and is interested in how music interacts with other domains, specifically political and social issues. In his PhD-research, he focuses on the work of Edward Said concerning music. He is critical of Said’s attitude towards popular music, which reduces popular music to a non-subversive form of mass culture. Wouter believes this is in dissonance with Said’s postcolonial writings and legacy. For this research, he has spent three months in Columbia’s rare book and manuscript library, reading the original, handwritten texts of Said.

Fosa YG and Loopey are the youngest members of the Bijlmer-based SMIB collective and will perform at the end of the night! Together with newcomer Nodda, they are the creators of “PROJECT YG”, which is short for “yung gods”. In 2019, they worked together with producers KC and Garrinchathey to release their first tape, which immediately became a hit. The two boys know how to complement each other effortlesly, and are able to smoothly follow up a slow jam with a banger. With their music, they already toured Belgium and the Netherlands and were at the festival Appelsap. Yet, this is just the beginning of their joint journey to the top.

The event will be chaired by Sharog Heshmat Manesh, who is a sociologist working as a researcher and teacher at the University of Amsterdam and the Hogeschool of Amsterdam. His PhD-research focused on the way arts and culture are deployed to foster cultural citizenship. In addition, he is a filmmaker and writer and has often worked on art projects with Dutch youth about identity formation and citizenship. In 2009 he won the Challenging Diversity Award. The Jury praised him for not being stuck on themes of diversity, but instead incorporating them organically into everything his many projects.

Event Details

Hip-hop and Dutch identity will take place on the 12th of October at 19:30. Doors at 19:15.

Spuistraat 2 HS, 1012 TS Amsterdam

The Facebook link is inactive for now, the event will be published tomorrow

This is a free event and we welcome all participants and voices. As space is limited, RSVP via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sound-in-action-hiphop-en-de-nederlandse-identiteit-tickets-116602139137