Mark Steel Does Hip Hop



Mark Steel loves Hip Hop in foreign languages. Even though he can't understand a word; he loves the energy and attitude. In this programme he hopes to persuade you that far from the violent, misogynistic 'anti-music' it is sometimes thought to be by its critics Hip Hop is where it is at for young people all over the world today.The simple combination of a beat and words has proved itself endlessly adaptable and it has taken root in cultures from Iceland to Iran from Tanzania to Taiwan.

When pop and rock burst upon the world in the 50's it was the voice of rebellion but became so closely aligned with English that for decades young people around had little choice but to look to people who sang in an alien tongue if they wanted to join the party - lacking the confidence or means to compete with the soft power of Anglo American musicians.

Hip Hop and the internet has changed that; The big American record companies are no longer gate keepers to music that they once were and the simplicity of 'rapping' in a vernacular has proved a powerful combination that's given birth to vibrant hip hop scenes in most countries in the world.

In this programme we visit Iceland and then hear from artists from Africa, Asia and Latin America where Hip Hop has become the dominant form of music through which young people talk among themselves about the big and small issues in their lives.