Sister Nations Unite Under Hip Hop
Lviv, July 17, 2012. Just a few weeks ago the EURO 2012 football tournament was in session, enveloping Ukraine and Poland with an atmosphere of intrigue. With European Football Championship now over, both countries have experienced a sense of directional progress in many varietal areas, including music. In Lviv city downtown Metro Club, hip-hop artists from both Ukraine and Poland merged their music communities together for two nights of hip-hop battle madness.
For two days in a row hip-hopers from Poland and Ukraine competed verbally while demonstrating to their astonished audience their craft of hip-hop music. Rap masters DJ Focus and DJ Mlody, who were musically backed up by DJ HWR and DJ WBK represented the Polish side. The well-known Lviv performers 200BOYS and DJ Franyk were ready to defend their Ukrainian side.
Countries like Ukraine and Poland historically have had a tight connection but contemporary music such as hip-hop opens a new page of the relations between the two nations. “My heart is half from Poland half from Ukraine. I even have a Ukrainian last name. I feel like people from Ukraine are pretty much like people from Poland and vice versa. It’s all due to our long common history. I am very happy to spend my weekend performing here,” said DJ WBK of Poland.
For the hip-hop artists involved, the battle was an opportunity to share their stories, define their key stylistic elements, as well as fortify hip-hop as a positive ‘big brother’ of the younger generation. But mostly, these two nations found their own way to unite through music. “This won’t be a ‘battle’ of hostility, no, friendship and love to the hip-hop music will win tonight,” said Marta Lotysh, Manager of Metro Club.
Underground hip-hop has become one of the hottest music genres of the 21st century. Hip-hop is even considered to be more versatile than rap for its positive outlook and closely associated style and fashions of many youngsters of today. The speech, fashion, and personal style of each hip-hop artist is altered and used as a means of advice or realistic story telling. After all, “a good story always makes a better song,” added DJ WBK.
Music is something that can unite people from different backgrounds. As a universal language, music represents social changes of both the developed and developing parts of the world. It can also help people share a common point in their heritage and is used as a form of social networking. This Ukraine vs. Poland hip-hop battle was one such event that no doubt showed how ubiquitous music is. “The hip-hop music doesn’t divide us, it connects us,” writes DJ Focus of Poland, in an original song by his legendary band Paktofonika.