Wednesday, March 25, 2009

PaK and Sol: Greek Hip Hop Revolution

From a young age, my godson Patroklos showed proclivities towards rap and hip hop. But nothing has prepared me for the release of a masterful full-length CD released a few days ago with his partner in hip hop Solmeister. The LP is called Απ' την καλή και απ' την ανάποδη (From the Good Side and the Bad Side) and was produced by DJALX at 396 μοίρες/Rainlab Studios in Athens. It can be downloaded here. This is a tremendous accomplishment from a 14-year old.

Half of the songs are written by Sol, and have a romantic bend. The other half, written by PaK, present a sobering portrait of contemporary Greek life, full of honesty, nostalgia and anger. Hip hop truly has no national boundaries. Although influenced by American sources, the songs are written in Greek, present distinctive Greek realities, but they also represent the pains of migration. PaK has recently moved to Germany experiencing the contradictions of personal geography and history at an early age. His relationship to the Greek hip hop scene are mitigated by a new distance.

I have only started to listen to the album and I'll refrain from individual comments. In future postings, I hope to provide some aid (esp. for the non-Greek speakers) on a song-by-song basis. For earlier work, see Sol's and Pak's ΑΠΑΧΑ ΓΙΑΟΥΡΤΙΑ (Nonfat Yogurts) here.

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States