A friend recently talked to me about a Turkish Hip Hop group called Cartel. She told me they wanted to be the voice of the minority, the underdog. I looked into them and they turned out to be a very interesting group. Cartel is made up of three groups of rappers: Erci E., Karakan, and Da Crime Posse. They gained popularity in 1995, specifically in Germany (although they’re very well known in Turkey). Their music can be described as having a mixture of hip-hop, Arabesk, and Turkish folk dance music. Interestingly enough, the group has Turkish and German members, as well as a Cuban member. They include Spanish, German, and English into their songs, influenced by Reggaeton and reaching out to their Western audiences.
Their lyrics are inspired by social and political issues around the world to encourage the empowerment of minorities and of oppressed peoples. Cultural pride is a common theme in their songs as well. I’m curious to see what others think of them!
These are two links to their songs, one more upbeat than the other.
The mellow one: “Sen” (meaning “you”)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMbjpgND0gs
The lyrics/translation of the song (with the exception of the Spanish verse!): http://lyricstranslate.com/en/sen-you.html
And “Bir Oluruz” (meaning something along the lines of “equality”): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS2D9l_zmxw&feature=relmfu
I couldn’t find an english translation to it, but everyone should listen to it and hear the American music references. Enjoy!