Recommendations for non-English language hip-hop
May 22, 2013 3:20 AM   Subscribe

International MeFites can you recommend great hip-hop either entirely in non-English language, or featuring mainly non-US English dialects? previously
posted by roofus to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
How about Mala Rodriguez? Also, Ana Tijoux might be someone you'd like. Both are Spanish speaking.
posted by Quizicalcoatl at 3:55 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

You might also like the genre Reggaeton.
posted by Quizicalcoatl at 3:57 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

MC Solaar raps in French and is super awesome. Here's his classic collaboration with Guru Le Bien, Le Mal.
posted by dayintoday at 3:59 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

Mish B3eed (Khalas Mixtape vol. 1) is a collection of Tunisian political rap that I've enjoyed (though I don't understand a word of it). The original site is gone, but it was a free distribution collection so presumably one of those google results will have a download.
posted by russm at 4:05 AM on May 22, 2013

There are quite a few Nederhop artists who perform in Dutch. I think the most well-known are Gers Pardoel, Ali B, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Lange Frans, and Baas B, but there are many others.
posted by neushoorn at 4:11 AM on May 22, 2013

German is a good language for hiphop and rap, because it is very rhythmic and has a lot of hard edges. Try Die Fantastischen Vier or Fettes Brot.
posted by illongruci at 4:30 AM on May 22, 2013

I would put Molotov on the rap metal side of hip hop, but they're one of the better-known rap-ish groups in the Spanish language. Their biggest hit in the U.S. was Gimme tha Power which is all Spanish except a little code-switching in the chorus.

And for a middle-aged feminist white female, I've got an unhealthy obsession with Pitbull's Bon Bon. It's off his 2010 album Armando, which is all in Spanish.

Also, Calle 13: Pa'l Norte, Muerte en Hawaii. Their styling is heavily influenced by reggaeton but pretty eclectic.

I really like Akwid's flow: La Novela; Loco.
posted by drlith at 4:35 AM on May 22, 2013

Curse Ov Dialect rap a fair bit in English but have enough foreign guests and multiculturalism within themselves to possibly qualify. Australian, so at least not US dialected.
posted by solarion at 4:41 AM on May 22, 2013

Also came here to mention MC Solaar.
posted by jquinby at 4:42 AM on May 22, 2013

Does this strike your fancy?
posted by deathpanels at 4:52 AM on May 22, 2013

Also check out recommendations for Brazilian hip hop on this thread.
posted by drlith at 4:58 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Seeed is fabulous hiphop/dancehall mostly in German, light years beyond the sterile "barking in unison" sound that plagues a lot of (commercial) German hiphop
Brothers Keepers, an issues-based collective, is mainy good musically too.

In French, the soundtrack to La Haine is perhaps a good sampler of late 90s hiphop
Assassin were the Public Enemy of France for a while

I like Ceza in Turkish

Hattrick - German French and English on the same track! - Triples Rois

You might like Nihal on the BBC, he plays lots of dead good stuff including hiphop-type vocals in
Punjabi, Urdu (I think) etc

Roots Manuva arguably best of British, to the extent of going on about baked beans

(and John Cooper Clarke would be amazing with some proper beats behind him but that's stretching the topic perhaps)
posted by runincircles at 5:30 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Shadia Mansour.

posted by mani at 5:51 AM on May 22, 2013

Karpe Diem (Norwegian)
posted by RedEmma at 6:15 AM on May 22, 2013

Check out the Tsotsi soundtrack, which is mostly Kwaito, a genre of South African hip-hop. It's sung in a variety of South African languages, including Zulu, Sesotho, and Isicamtho. Zola did most of the soundtrack, including Mdwelembe and Matofotofo.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:16 AM on May 22, 2013

For non-US English rap, check out Gazeebow Unit.
posted by beau jackson at 6:26 AM on May 22, 2013

Dragon Ash is a Japanese band that's gone through many permutations, starting off as a punk band, moving into hip hop, then nu metal (that didn't suck), then oddly Spanish inflected... something. Still, good stuff.

I've mentioned Halcali here before. Bubblegum hip hop by two (at the time) high school girls from Tokyo.

There are a good number of other acts, a big one was Rip Slyme, though I never really got into them. There's also Def Tec, from Okinawa, which have more of an island-vibe harmonic/singy hip hop. Parts are in English, parts in Japanese.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:35 AM on May 22, 2013

Radio Radio (Acadian) and Dubmatique (Québécois).
posted by Cuke at 6:40 AM on May 22, 2013

Danish: Malk de Koijn - Vi Tager Fuglen På Dig.
posted by coraline at 6:49 AM on May 22, 2013

Definitely check out German rap, they have probably the biggest non-English scene (and a language perfect to flow with).

Bushido, Sido, and Fler are probably the biggest names. A good place to start is the innumerable Halt die Fresse videos on Youtube.
posted by wrok at 6:50 AM on May 22, 2013

La Fouine is super-popular in France and Francophone Africa. He's of Moroccan descent so he throws an Arabic phrase in here and there, but it's mostly in French. (Caveat: it's street slang, and it's hard to translate if you speak everyday French.) La Fouine vs. Laouni is a great album. The first part of the album is your standard fancy-cars-and-hot-women type of hip hop, but the second half shows a lot of vulnerability and a beautiful singing voice. I like him better than MC Solaar, but ymmv.

Les Nubians is another French group, composed of women - it's not entirely hip hop, but very good.
posted by desjardins at 6:59 AM on May 22, 2013

I like the Orishas; they're cubans who now live in France, so their lyrics are both French and Spanish, but mostly the latter.
posted by elizardbits at 7:21 AM on May 22, 2013

I love this Beijing rap (北京土著 - Beijing Native). Language Log has a great dissection and translation.
posted by idlethink at 7:33 AM on May 22, 2013

Some youngsters recently made me feel cool when they really liked the Control Machete track I was listening to.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:49 AM on May 22, 2013

I've enjoyed Hadag Nachash and Subliminal, both Israeli groups/artists (who perform in Hebrew).
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 7:54 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Peter Fox of Seeed released a solo album as well. I don't think anyone's mentioned Freundeskreis yet either.

I don't have an opinion of whether it's 'great', but I do have an album by a Danish group called Nick og Jay.
posted by hoyland at 8:02 AM on May 22, 2013

Nina Dioz (soundcloud page) finally has a full length album coming out. You may know her from this track

Would second Mc Solaar and Ana Tijoux

Alpa Gun's update of Ich bin ein Auslander is good

Shing02 is awesome, especially if you can get a hold of his first album Homo Caeruleus Cerinus
posted by J0 at 8:31 AM on May 22, 2013

The two albums by Chico Science & Nação Zumbi are really good. They mix rock and hip hop in a style called mangue.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:32 AM on May 22, 2013

The first album by The Streets. I thin of it as a Hip Hopera.
posted by BenPens at 9:11 AM on May 22, 2013

Mokum State of Mind
Amsterdam - 7th Foul Nation
Origineel Amsterdamse - Osdorp Posse

Yes, I have a one-track mind.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:39 AM on May 22, 2013

I really like Rocé. (French.) I have his 2nd album, listened to it a lot.
Orishas are also pretty great.

I'm going to have to give the links to German rap a listen - most of what I've heard didn't do much for me.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:50 AM on May 22, 2013

Fix Up, Look Sharp - by Dizzee Rascal
posted by metaname at 11:27 AM on May 22, 2013

MC Hot Dog (MC 熱狗) is a well-known Taiwanese rapper/hip hop artist:

我愛台妹 (I love Taiwanese girls)
母老虎 (Tigress)
posted by Curiosity Delay at 1:04 PM on May 22, 2013

Opgezwolle is a pretty excellent Dutch group with a darker sound for most of their tracks.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:20 PM on May 22, 2013

I came here to recommend Reggaeton only to find the good Quizicalcoatl had gotten there before me! Hooray for AskMeFi.

As for specific artists in that genre, I really enjoy Daddy Yankee, particularly Gasolina.
posted by saveyoursanity at 3:26 PM on May 22, 2013

There's a hip hop group from Senegal called Daara J. They're great.
posted by colin_l at 5:40 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

From previous MeFi swap mixes I've sent:
Omnikrom - Casquettes de géants
Skero feat. Joyce Muniz - Kabinenparty
I also once used Miss Platnum - Come Marry Me on a swap, which has an awesome rap break from Peter Fox.

And it's cliche from a commercial, but I have a soft spot for Серёга- King Ring
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:46 PM on May 22, 2013

nthing MC Solaar. Obsolete from back in the day is one of my faves.
posted by lalochezia at 8:25 AM on May 23, 2013

Oh yes, Seeed, how could I have not thought of them also?
posted by illongruci at 8:40 AM on May 23, 2013

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