Romano Hip Hop - Garth Cartwright - fRoots July 2007 (EN)

fotkaUK magazine - fRoots July 2007

Ever get the feeling a certain sound is follow-
ing you around? That whatever CD you put
on appears to feature Eminem? If a world
music rap fan, one could be forgiven for
believing this, what with the wildly overrated
K'Naan blatantly imitating the angry blonde
while Prague's own Roma rapper has defi-
nitely studied Mr Math ers rhyme style (maybe
even learned English from them). Fortunate-
ly, this only really shows through when
Gipsy.Cz raps in English which is not that
often-on Romano Hip Hop, his debut album,
he employs Romany and Czech as his main
dialects. Still, when he breaks into English on
Multin this could be K'Naan (or an outtake
from The Slim Shady album). What separates
Gipsy.Cz from the Canadian wannabe is, as
noted, English is sparsely employed and his
backing band are pretty inventive in their use
of violin, double bass, accordeon and drums.
Thus on 7/8 and the title track they whip up
an atmospheric brew of Central European
fiddle musicthat's very entertaining and cer-
tain to get audiences leaping about.

As ever with hip-hop, the language bar-
rier is a problem, and even if Gipsy.Cz rapped
entirely in English-which I definitely don't
advise-he's unlikelyto win over an audience
that swears only by what comes out of the
U5. Also, like too many wannabe rap stars,
not enough attention is paid to beats and
atmosphere: Timbaland and Outkast won't
be sweating overthe competition as it stands
here. Still, this CD is an oddball, entertaining
fusion which stands as a markerforthe many
young Roma rappers who exist throughout
Europe (a Manouche rapper I recently heard
was accompanied by Gypsy Jazz guitar!). Con-
sidering the Czech Republic's brutal treat-
ment of its Roma, this confident, confronta-
tion debut suggests its creator has a very
interesting future in front of him.

Garth Cartwright

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