Bee Gee brothers demand answers
The 'People's Choice': Indecision
MuchMusic USA takes on MTV
The secret letters of 'The Bachelorette'
'Just Married' marches to No. 1 debut
N. Y. plans to heal skyline
Stocks rise on Case departure
Lieberman's presidential announcement today
New arrests may be linked to UK ricin scare
Jordan says farewell for the third time
Shaq could miss playoff game for child's birth
Ex-USOC official says athletes bent drug rules
Hip-hop music goes global
(CNN) -- There's a global epidemic spreading. A musical epidemic, that is.
These days, hip-hop is hot, not just in the United States, but throughout Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and even Asia.
In Europe, France claims the hip-hop crown. Bands like NTM and Saian Supra Crew dominate the music charts. Sales of rap and hip-hop in France are second only to those in the U.S.
"Rap is a movement that has really taken hold in France, especially in the suburbs of Paris, then it spread across France," says Kool Shen, a member of NTM, which got started in the lower-income Paris suburbs, with its rich cultural mix of Arab and African immigrants. The band's rap is music with a message, singing about issues that affect their communities, such as racism and high unemployment.
The chart-topping Saian Supra Crew mixes hip-hop with African rhythms as well as political statements. And it's not just France where hip-hop artists uses their music to send a message: In Italy, the rap group Jovanotti uses its music to advocate Third World debt relief and to speak out against conflict in Kosovo. In Hungary, the Gypsy band Black Train uses hip-hop to speak out for civil rights for Gypsies and other ethnic groups.
In Germany, hip-hop got started in the cities and towns near U.S. military bases, where kids listened to American radio stations. The result? Fantastichen Vier, Germany's answer to the Beastie Boys.
In Britain, the music form has yet to take off, but hip-hopper Iceberg Slim still managed to score two top 30 singles on the music charts; he's also one of the few hip-hop artists in Britain with a major record label deal.
Even the former Soviet bloc isn't immune to hip-hop's rhythm. The Slovak band Trosky is spreading hip-hop to Eastern Europe with its songs about problems unique to youth in the region.
Hip-rock: Growing fast and furious
|Back to the top|