What's some good foreign-language hip-hop?
February 1, 2010 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Please help me with suggestions for non-English rap music, and mixed-language rap music.

I want to put together a party-mix of hip-hop that is mostly non-English. A little English can be thrown in, as I've often heard in reaggaeton music, but it shouldn't be the main language of the song. I'm mainly interested in whatever in that language would be considered "hard" or "gangsta" rap. Any recommendations?
posted by Cookiebastard to Media & Arts (44 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure if it is hard or gangsta, but Tryo rap in French, and their lyrics are often fairly political.
posted by greenish at 8:50 AM on February 1, 2010

MC Solaar is another French rapper who is quite good.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:51 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I preferred lighter hiphop fare while there, but there is an extensive amount of rap and hiphop in German. Especially Turkish artists in Germany have identified with the narrative often associated with rap in the states. Here's a start, but you'll have to follow your own rabbit trail to identify what you like further.
posted by jefficator at 8:52 AM on February 1, 2010

French groups IAM, Fonky Family, and Supreme NTM.
posted by mkb at 8:54 AM on February 1, 2010

Choc Quib Town
posted by gnutron at 8:55 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Japanese rappers.

They had a track in Samurai Champloo (an anime).
posted by exhilaration at 8:59 AM on February 1, 2010

DJ Krush is largely English language, but Mosa is one of my favorites.
posted by cjemmott at 9:07 AM on February 1, 2010

He runs the gamut, but in my opinion (YMMV) he is one of the best if not the best hip-hop artist in Korea
Drunken Tiger
posted by Julnyes at 9:09 AM on February 1, 2010

posted by oinopaponton at 9:09 AM on February 1, 2010

Brazilian Portuguese: a strong recommendation for MV Bill (try Traficando Informacoes, it's about the perils of the drug trade in the favelas).
posted by whatzit at 9:10 AM on February 1, 2010

I don't much about it, but I recently came across some Indonesian hip hip that seems relatively hard. It's not bad.
posted by neroli at 9:11 AM on February 1, 2010

(here's a much harder Diam's song)
posted by oinopaponton at 9:19 AM on February 1, 2010

violadores del verso is a spanish hardcore crew considered one of the best in the country. maximo exponente is a good song
posted by valdesm at 9:20 AM on February 1, 2010

TTC is good French rap. I especially like this song.
posted by jalexc at 9:21 AM on February 1, 2010

posted by nitsuj at 9:28 AM on February 1, 2010

Response by poster: You are all giving me a lot of awesome stuff here! Thanks!
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:29 AM on February 1, 2010

turkish rap is pretty neat, and there is some good hungarian stuff.
posted by sundri at 10:00 AM on February 1, 2010

Daara J is a Senegalese group--I'm not sure if they're exactly hardcore, but they rap in Wolof, French, and a little bit of English and are very very popular in Senegal. Try "Boorom Bi," "Magg Daan," and "Loxo ca kaw."
posted by cimton at 10:02 AM on February 1, 2010

posted by fire&wings at 10:10 AM on February 1, 2010

la fouine. autotuned and everything.

I really like Keny Arkana.
posted by citron at 10:16 AM on February 1, 2010

Oh, also, I have some Persian friends who listen to Hichkas, who is from Tehran and was recently featured on the Daily Show. I'm pretty sure "Bunch of Soldiers" is his best known track.

I think the Bulgarian rap group "Upsurt" has some songs that might work, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.
posted by cimton at 10:17 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Racionais MC are a little bit older Brazilian rap, but I think their "Diário de um detento" (Day in the life of a prisoner/convict) is pretty good stuff. I also like Rapping Hood, his "Rap do bom" mixes a little bit of a samba beat. His best though, as far as mixing in a more traditional samba sound with rap is "Sou negrão".
You also have Marcelo D2, who gives us "A procura na batida perfeita".
Then there is Gabriel O Pensador (Gabriel, the Thinker), who gives us more cerebral rap, in his inimitable Carioca accent. I happen to really like "Rabo de saia", it's an oldy but a goodie. I could keep going, because Brazil has some great hiphop and rap, but I have work to do....
posted by msali at 10:35 AM on February 1, 2010

More from Brazil: Racionais MCs, Xis (Check out the song De Esquina with Cassia Eller, it rocks), Funk N Lata.
posted by stinker at 10:45 AM on February 1, 2010

I've always liked this Austrian track.
posted by creasy boy at 11:09 AM on February 1, 2010

DJ Cam's stuff is largely instrumental, but he sometimes has guest MCs on his tracks, some of whom rap in French.

Likewise for DJ Krush (but Japanese instead of French).

Since I don't understand French or Japanese, I have no idea whether they're rapping about hard-ass gangsta stuff, or buying flowers for Mother's Day. Some of the Japanese guys sound pretty serious though.
posted by ixohoxi at 11:10 AM on February 1, 2010

Oh, I should probably point out that DJ Cam and DJ Krush are both awesome besides.
posted by ixohoxi at 11:10 AM on February 1, 2010

Control Machete (Mexico)
posted by Gortuk at 11:29 AM on February 1, 2010

This old thread is a motherlode. Plenty of Japanese hip hop but also plenty of Nordic stuff. I linked to a Korean track by Epik High called Flow in that thread that's since been removed from YouTube, here's an updated link.
posted by Kattullus at 11:32 AM on February 1, 2010

I've always enjoyed ShakkaZombies "Siroi Yama No Naka"

I also enjoyed some of the French rapping of Spleen on CocoRosie's album and live work, but I haven't heard his own stuff.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:47 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Putting together a little scandyland stuff for you here. Not really my genre, but here are some artists I like on the scandinavian scene. Most of these are from years back, you can probably use the related links on youtube for some more stuff.

Feven, 30-something Eritrean woman rapped kickassingly for a year or so at the start of the 00's, and then dissapeared (from the mainstream at least).
Tio Budord (Ten Commandments), Bränn BHn(Burn your bra).

Outlandish are a danish crew, the members of north african, pakistani and south american backgrounds, giving in my opinion a perfect mix for authentic european hip-pop sound.
Aicha, I only ask of god

Timbuktu, I love! I gather that a lot of this is going to go over your head due to it being in Swedish, but I really like his lyrics, and am overly charmed by his rather extreme regional accent (he sounds like he should be digging potatoes). All these artists I am linking are kinda the opposite to gangsta style rap and much of the lyrics are quite socio-political.
Give the first link about a minute to kick into the main song...
Alla vill till himmeln men ingen vill dö (Everyone wants to go to heaven, but noone wants to die), Det löser sig(It will work out)

Petter, brought hiphop/rap to the Swedish mainstream by being a white boy from the hood.
Så klart! (of course! or maybe "hell yeah!"), God Damn It!

Other big names would be Adam Tensta, Fattaru, Latin Kings, Afasi & Filthy, Maskinen
posted by Iteki at 12:12 PM on February 1, 2010

Tito El Bambino is Puerto Rican.

Seconding Outlandish
posted by jonnyploy at 2:11 PM on February 1, 2010

Orishas (originally from Cuba)
posted by waitangi at 3:04 PM on February 1, 2010

Subliminal is an Israeli rapper; his music is in Hebrew and English. The album "The Light and the Shadow," is the one I'm familiar with, though if Zionist concepts make you uncomfortable, he wouldn't be a good choice. Tamar Nafar is an Arab Israeli rapper who worked with Subliminal; his group DAM performs in mostly in Arabic, but also in Hebrew and English.
posted by lemonwheel at 3:15 PM on February 1, 2010

Cartel de Santa's Mi Chiquita
posted by subajestad at 3:23 PM on February 1, 2010

Massiv for German gangsta rap.
posted by kosmonaut at 8:30 PM on February 1, 2010

For Japanese hip hop: Dragon Ash, Rappagariya and Scha Dara Parr. Plus m-flo and Teriyaki Boyz for some good Japanese/English fusion tracks.
posted by fantastico at 11:35 PM on February 1, 2010

Dialects on German: Sektion Kuchikäschtli (Switzerland) or Texta (Austria).

German language hip hop in general is huge enough to have imported the less presentable subgenres of gangsta idiocy and the T&A&bling video, but also middle-class respectability and quirky intellectualism.
posted by themel at 3:04 AM on February 2, 2010

A couple of African compilations to check out:

Africa Raps (2001)
African Swim (2008, free download)

Especially the second.
posted by Who_Am_I at 10:38 AM on February 2, 2010

Yener is one of my favorite turkish rappers. (to actually give you link).
posted by sundri at 10:59 AM on February 2, 2010

I always liked Cheb Mami et K-mel - Parisien du Nord
posted by Sutekh at 3:11 AM on February 3, 2010

Kasta is a russian rap group.
posted by pyro979 at 6:32 AM on February 3, 2010

Inspecteur Disiz (French) are a lot of fun. They're not really 'gansta' though.
posted by Lucie at 1:38 AM on February 4, 2010

« Older Crowdsourced slideshow for OS X screensaver   |   llama xray tango foxtrot Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.