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Haitian hip-hop

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Rap Kreyol, Kreyòl hip hop
Stylistic origins Hip-Hop
Founder Master Dji
Cultural origins 1980's
Typical instruments
Mainstream popularity probably mid-80's
Derivative forms
Regional scenes

Haitian Hip Hop or Hip Hop Kreyol is music originating from Haiti and sung by artists of Haitian descent. The most popular form of this is the rising of 'Ipap Kreyòl' or Kreyòl Hip Hop. Often, hardcore beats are used while the artist raps in kreyòl. Kreyòl hip hop, have since the early 80's been part of the Haitian culture, with groups such as Original Rap Staff, Rap Kreyol S.A, masters Of Haiti, Supa Deno, Prince Berlin & Muzion to name a few but lately has become very popular with Haitian youth.

Many Haitian rap artists have had rough childhoods and difficult living conditions producing rappers who address socio-economic topics in their lyrics. Though similar to mainstream American hip hop in that materialistic imagery is portrayed or lyricized, the negative aspects of less fortunate Haitian society, such as topics concerning slum life, gang warfare, the drug trade, and poverty, are much more common.

The most well-known exports of Haitian hip hop are two members of the legendary Grammy Award-winning hip hop group, the Fugees, Wyclef Jean and his cousin Pras Michel (a.k.a. Pras). Most recently, Christopher FREEDOM Laroche released his inspirational debut album Liberation 1804, Kerns (Mr OK) Olirice released first EP ( Men Mwen), Barikad Crew, Brimad, Pick Up Click, briganDie, Team Lobey, etc... which quickly gained popularity among the Haitian population. However, the godfather of hip hop in Haiti is the late Master Dji, who not only released the first Haitian rap song in the early 1980s, formed the group Rap Kreyol S.A., but was also the first Haitian DJ and also influential in encouraging other young Haitians such as Supa Deno, Dj Fanfan and Dj live to become rappers, DJs, and breakdancers.

Info on Hip-Hop KreyolEdit

Haitian Hip Hop or Hip Hop Kreyol is music originating from Haiti and sung by artists of Haitian descent. The most popular form of this is the rising of 'Hip Hop nan Kreyòl' or Kreyòl Hip Hop. Often, hardcore beats are used while the artist raps in kreyòl. Kreyòl hip hop, though relatively new, has become very popular with Haitian youth

Many Haitian rap artists have had rough childhoods and difficult living conditions producing rappers who address socio-economic topics in their lyrics. Though similar to mainstream American hip hop in that materialistic imagery is portrayed or lyricized, the negative aspects of less fortunate Haitian society, such as topics concerning slum life, gang warfare, the drug trade, and poverty, are much more common.

The most well-known exports of Haitian hip hop are two members of the legendary Grammy Award-winning hip hop group, the Fugees, Wyclef Jean and his cousin Pras Michel (a.k.a. Pras). Most recently, Christopher FREEDOM Laroche released his inspirational debut album Liberation 1804, which quickly gained popularity among the Haitian population. However, the godfather of hip hop in Haiti is the late Master Dji, who not only released the first Haitian rap song in the early 1980s, but was also influential in encouraging other young Haitians to become rappers, DJs, and breakdancers.

Kreyòl hip hop is one of the most powerful music genres to emerge from the Haitian community during the late 1980s. Individuals such as Master Dji and O.R.S, were some of the early pioneers of this art form. Master Dji, believed to be the founder of Kreyòl hip hop, brought it to national spotlights with songs such as 'Tann Pou Tann', 'Manmzel' and 'Politik Pam'. Even though the music gained commercial success with the explosion of Master Dji, some still find traces of Kreyòl hip hop, and Haitians rapping on beats way before Master Dji came to scene. For a while, Haiti started to embrace hip hop and also adapt it in other types of music, such as Konpa; it lapsed when Master Dji died in 1994.

The Kreyòl hip hop movementEdit

Template:Original research

After the death of Master Dji, his legacy was not forgotten, and Kreyòl hip hop was preserved by several artists from the underground. Haitian rap groups, such as O.R.S, ASRAP, Masters and 33rd, have tried to bring Kreyòl hip hop back to the mainstream by continuing what Master Dji started. However, Kreyòl hip hop is not perceived by many Haitians as an art form, but as a fad that they expect to die soon. Although some Haitian rappers gained some success, the music itself hardly had an impact on the mainstream due to a lack of understanding of hip hop. Throughout the years, the music has undergone many changes, bringing it to the present Kreyòl hip hop movement. With Haitian artists like Mecca a.k.a. Grimo, FREEDOM, Wyclef Jean, G.Bobby Bon-Flo, Fantom, and groups such as Barikad Crew, RockFam, Chale Repiblik, Magick Click and Mystik 703, the movement has taken major steps, and has risen back to the surface. One of the key reasons for this new rise is the DEPORTATIONS of many Haitians youths in the early 2000s. These young people came back to their Island Nation finding the movement very interesting and delved right into it, giving it a new life. The street life style of Hip Hop. KOZE KREYOL is one such group of deportee's. They revolutionize the RAP KREYOL movement with a fire and street credibility that U.S. rappers and studios started noticing and listenning. They created the KOZE KREYOL MOVEMENT as a way to keep Haitians from talking bad about {Dips or Dp'z} Deportees and Rappers. [1]

Kreyòl languageEdit

Kreyòl is the national language of the Republic of Haiti; it is used for the everyday communication, as the symbol of national identity. Kreyòl comes from a Portuguese word meaning "raised at home". It was first used to refer to Europeans born and raised in the overseas colonies. It was later used for languages that arose from the plantations that the Europeans established, using slaves imported from West Africa. Slaves came to Haiti, from all over West Africa and spoke many different languages. Kreyòl was a new language that resulted from African slaves' efforts to speak the French that they heard when they arrived in Haiti.

Hip-Hop's possible Haitian rootsEdit

Many believe that hip hop music comes from the griots of West Africa which were shipped to small islands such as Haiti during the slave trade. A griot is a West African poet, praise singer, and wandering musician, considered a repository of oral tradition. Hip hop music is related to the griots of West Africa, traveling singers and poets, whose musical style is considered the ancient form hip hop.

Haitian music was greatly influenced by French colonial ties and African migration through slavery. The griots kept their musical traditions when they traveled to other countries, countries such as Haiti.

Many, analyzing genres such as rara, or rasin, and even konpa, find traces of the griots and hip hop. The griots used to recite poems or talk over a beat led by the drum. Ansy Derose used

to not only talk over his songs, but also recite poems at the end of his tracks; for example, he recites a poem about Haiti in 'Lakay Mwen'. Hip hop music comes from a combination of funk, disco, soul, jazz and blues. Funk is also incorporated in mizik rasin, along with rock. The main instrument behind hip hop is the drum, which is probably the first instrument created in Africa. The drum is also found in Rara; hip hop is present in Zouk, another form of music, which was followed by an influx of Haitian artists like System Band, Zin, Top Vice and Karess. who included rock and roll, hip hop and jazz into kompa, and experimented with novel lyrical content, including feminism.

Did Hip-Hop originate from Haitian sounds?Edit

"During a six-month period in 1809; 10,000 refugees from Haiti arrived at New Orleans. They had a profound impact upon New Orleans' development. Refugees established the state's first newspaper and introduced opera into the Crescent City. They also appear to have played a role in the development of Creole cuisine and the perpetuation of voodoo practices in the New Orleans area. More importantly, they were responsible for preserving the city's French character for several generations."


New Orleans is the state where jazz and blues were created in the late 1930s. Around that time, many people moved from New Orleans to northern cities, such as New York, Chicago or Boston to search for jobs and opportunities. This migration led to the Harlem Renaissance, also known as The New Negro Movement. The Harlem Renaissance was a period of self-expression in the African American community through art, literature, music and culture. It was led primarily by the black community based in Harlem after World War I. Members of the black community valued their heritage, and stood up for what they believed in. From the Harlem Renaissance and jazz and blues came rock and roll, then disco, funk, pop, and, finally, hip hop.

Hip hop music continuously recreates itself and has blended with all other types of music. The music itself has traveled, from West Africa, to the West Indies, from the West Indies to the U.S, and from the U.S to the entire world, especially in places like Haiti, where the Kreyòl hip hop movement originally started.

Jacques (who is considered a spokesperson for Kreyòl hip hop):


"Take the song 'Juicy Lucy' by Tabou Combo in 1984. Though it wasn't done in Kreyòl, it was some seriously entertaining Hip Hop. So please, before continuing on just keep in mind, this movement has been around longer than some of us. I truly believe Kreyòl Hip Hop in Haiti would have been only second to American Hip Hop today in popularity had it not been for our political turmoil in the 80’s which saw the disappearance of Haiti's middle class as well as chased away a lot of the art and culture in our society."


ArtistsEdit

There are a number of prominent artists, producers, and entertainers, who are involved in or are key supporters of the Kreyòl hip hop movement. Some of the more notable:

Other Haitian hip hop artists and groups include:

Producers:

  • Fred Hype
  • The Core
  • Benkele
  • DJ Aku
  • Beat Gates
  • Mmix
  • Knaggs
  • Kalibr
  • Dice
  • Emmanuel "pitit pasteur" Cajuste
  • Zoe Nas (rapper)
  • Dymon Libra

Production Labels

Excluding Haitian born rappers, there are Haitian-American rappers:

  • Tony Yayo of G-Unit
  • Pastor Troy
  • De La Soul rapper David Jude Jolicoeur
  • Black Dada and G-Unit member DJ Whoo Kid

For Haitian-Canadian rappers, there is Imposs; for Haitian-French, Kery James & Alibi Montana; and for Haitian-German, Torch (rapper).

LinksEdit

See AlsoEdit


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