The Netherlands

dutch2Hip Hop Scene:
In the early 80’s breakin’ made its way to the Netherlands taking major cities, like Amsterdam and Rotterdam, by storm as B-Boy crews formed and battled for dance supremacy. However, as the eighties went on and the breakdancing hype began to fade former breakers started turning their attention to the mic and the music coming out of the states. DJ Allstar Fresh (from the hit Back by Dope Demand), Rudeboy (Urban Dance Squad), Shyrock, Deams and E-Life are some of the notable names that were well known throughout the country in the early years of the Dutch scene.

At this time hip hop was growing in popularity. There were a number of active artists but most were still rapping in English and emulating records they heard from the U.S. That all changed around 1990 when Def P formed Osdorp Posse and started recording tracks in his native tongue, releasing the first ever Dutch hip hop album, Osdorp Stijl, in 1992. He also convinced rapper Extince, who was still rapping in English, to do a Dutch feature on a track with Osdorp Posse, called ‘Turbotaal.’ A few years later Extince followed up ˜Turbotaal’ with the groundbreaking single, ‘Spraakwater.’

˜Spraakwater’ was a commercial breakthrough for Nederhop (the term for hip hop in Dutch). It stayed in the top 10 for weeks and its’ success made it easier for all Dutch hip hop artists, particularly those rhyming in Dutch, to get airplay. Artists like Brainpower and Def Rhymz followed suit producing several Dutch albums. Others, such as Postmen (with Shyrock) and E-Life, continued rhyming in English but still benefited from the increased media attention ˜Spraakwater’ brought to hip hop. ˜Spraakwater’s’ success also helped lay the foundation for the powerhouse Dutch rap label Topnotch which has grown into one of the largest imprints in the Netherlands.

Today, Nederhop has yet to reach its peak but it’s moving in the right direction with artists like Opgezwolle, VSOP and others constantly raising the bar. Dutch hip hop is prominent on local music television broadcasts and each year there are more and more artists releasing albums and mixtapes in the underground as well as the mainstream. For an overview what has been released the last few years, check out the Dutch Hip Hop Archive.

Sources: Special thanks to Rutger from Hiphopnet.nl and Cruel Afflux from NLHD.com for contributing tracks and info.

The Netherlands:
When most Americans think of The Netherlands their thoughts often revolve around the legal marijuana andnlmap prostitution found in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, the famous windmills (there are over 1,000 still working) and the clogs (wooden shoes) sold to tourists. However, that’s only scratching the surface. The Netherlands is located in Western Europe with its kingdom officially extending to the Caribbean to include the Netherlands Antilles islands and Aruba. In the 17th Century it became the center for European overseas trade, which included the trade of African slaves.

Often referred by non-Dutch as ˜Holland,’ the country lies on the border of the North Sea between Belgium and Germany. A quarter of the mainland is below sea level and its abundance of lakes and rivers make it susceptible to floods. However, their extensive network of polders, canals and pumping stations has managed to keep them dry. Today, the economy is still dependent upon foreign trade, shipping food, chemical products, and machinery, in particular computers and computer components to its main markets in Germany, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, these account for two thirds of the country’s annual exports.

As a people the Dutch are internationally regarded as peaceful, progressive, liberal, and tolerant which has been shown in the country’s attempts to remain neutral during both World Wars and in it’s legalization of marijuana, same sex marriages, and euthanasia.

Sources: Wikipedia.com, CIA.gov, Holland.com, Frommers, Fodors, and Lonely Planet.

Date: December 21, 2012