Tao of the Machine

Programming, Python, my projects, card games, books, music, Zoids, bettas, manga, cool stuff, and whatever comes to mind.

Quotable quotes

from 1986:

We make rock 'n roll. LL Cool J is rock 'n roll. Run DMC is rock 'n roll, the Beastie Boys are rock 'n roll, Public Enemy is rock 'n roll.
--Bill Adler, Def Jam/Rush Productions

That is one of the things I'm fighting for, that rap beat is viewed as rock 'n roll. It's not R&B. As a matter of fact, we have closer alliances with heavy metal than anything else.
--Chuck D

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2004-03-17 17:36:33   {link} (see old comments)
Categories: music


Hip-hop music has been around for several decades now. Although it originated in the US, there are hip-hop bands in just about every country in the world today, often rapping in their native language rather than English. The Netherlands are no exception; nederhop records have topped the charts, and new crews are emerging everywhere, even rapping in fairly obscure dialects.

It wasn't always like this, though. In countries like Germany and France, people started rapping in their own language fairly early. While Die Fantastischen Vier, MC Solaar and IAM had success with hip-hop in German and French, there was a more snobistic attitude in the Netherlands. Rap music had to be in English and nothing else.

So when a band from Amsterdam, the Osdorp Posse, started creating hip-hop in the Dutch language (and came up with the word "nederhop"), they were often met with ridicule. Their first albums were well received in the "underground", but didn't have mainstream pop appeal. In spite of this, they became more and more popular on festivals, and caused a number of other underground rappers to start using the Dutch language rather than English.

Because of this, Dutch hip-hop became more well-known, and eventually other rappers and producers saw the commercial possibilities, even though they had been rejecting the concept for years. A rapper called Extince can be credited with the first nederhop chart success, much to the dismay of the Osdorp Posse, calling him "the Dutch Vanilla Ice" (and a lot of other things ;-) because he switched to Dutch rap purely for commercial reasons.

The first chart success spawned a cascade of other artists trying their hand at rapping in the Dutch language. Slowly, this kind of music gained acceptance. What was once a curiosity, eventually became big business. (Well, "big"... we're talking the Netherlands... but you get the idea. emoticon:smile)

These days, there are lots of hip-hop bands rapping in Dutch. Some names: Brainpower, Opgezwolle, Haagse Mark, White Wolf, Ouderkerk Kaffers, De Uitverkorenen, Z-Bomb Unit, Spookrijders, Yukkie B, ABN (Belgian), Onderhonden... Heck, there are even crews that rap in the dialects of Limburg (which sounds a bit silly, IMHO :-), like the OZL-Crew and the Pikkatrillaz. Even if you don't understand Dutch, they might be worth listening to.

What must be grating to the OP is that the current "hip-hop scene" gives them little respect. Nederhop is mainstream now, there are lots of bands trying to make a buck, reviewers are making money writing about it. The OP almost single-handedly built this scene; without them, all these groups most likely would not exist. Yet some artists, reviewers and listeners claim that they don't make "real hip-hop" (whatever that means), and don't consider them part of the "scene". Some rappers even claim that *they* were the first to rap in Dutch, rather than the OP. The question remains why we never heard of those rappers before, so this last one is pretty much a non-issue.

Some of the sites above have legal downloads. Start here, for example. Or here...

On a side note: the Osdorp Posse's label, Ramp Records, has some interesting ways to battle diminishing CD sales. For example, they lowered their CD prices by ~50%. (Their CDs are now €9-10; usual prices are around €20.) Also, they have special offers, like a CD that can only be obtained with a ticket for one of their concerts.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2004-02-07 20:16:30   {link} (see old comments)
Categories: music, Nederland

Rakim interview

I don't really have any news, I was away for the weekend and am currently reading Zope books. So I'll just discuss a link or two. :-)

rakim.com kind of works (it never used to). Among other things, it points to a mildly interesting article (part one, two).

Among the more interesting observations is that Rakim thinks of "old school" as a style, rather than a period. Also, he talks about the breakup with Eric B.

On a side note, an astrological guess-the-sign game can be played here... this quote pretty much gives it away: "At the same time at that point I was more on just doing joints that I felt that I wanted to do. If everybody was going right I went left. Everybody was talkin' about blue, I'ma talk about black. So I never wanted to follow the trends that everybody did. At the same time 'till this day with me, I dropped a couple of albums and some of the beats for the entire album wasn't what everybody was doing at the time, but at the end of the day if everybody liked what I was putting down on the mic, then I'm able to do another album. So it was never like did what everybody else is doing and all that shit. I always wanted to do me." (Note that if you literally copy down what a person is saying, it doesn't make them sound very intelligent. :-)

If you can't figure out the sign, this page has the DOB.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-11-03 13:23:18   {link}
Categories: music, esoterica

Meat shake

In spite of the sorry state of the music industry, occasionally somebody does manage to release a good album. Check out Ugly Duckling's "Taste the Secret". Yes, even in 2003 it's still possible to make hip-hop and not be a pimpin' daddy, a bling-blinger, a thug, or a shock rapper reciting brain-damaged rants.

UD are smarter than the average rapper. Check them out. They're cool.

Posted by Hans "Now for the new Goats and Beastie Boys albums..." Nowak on 2003-08-24 12:48:16   {link}
Categories: music

Dope, geen uitverkoop

Megadef will be out soon. I want it.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-08-01 12:56:27   {link}
Categories: music


  • Hikaru No Go has been licensed. (For the non-manga-otakus, that means that some US publisher is going to do the American release, making scanlations on the Net pretty much illegal.) Fortunately, MangaReaders still has a number of chapters that TW didn't release. (If that link doesn't work, go to mangareaders.com, log in (maybe after registering), and go to the download section.)
  • I'm writing this using Sextile. It's quite usable, I only need to add a few more features, like lists. Combined with macros, it's really quite powerful, and it doesn't get in my way.
  • I registered my weblog at Artima buzz. Apparently they just added all my posts to the top, so the whole first page of "latest posts" consists of my writings. emoticon:bloos So far, Pyblagg has far more weblogs, though.
  • The number of Google hits for "luna lovegood" are increasing daily.
  • Occasionally I find myself thinking "gee, this programming problem would have quite an elegant soluton in Lisp". The dark side beckons...
  • Currently reading: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (OK, I finished it, but maybe I'll do a reread, like the hardcore fans :-); Orson Scott Card: Seventh Son.
  • Currently listening to: In Extremo, Osdorp Posse, Clawfinger, Dawn Penn, H-Blockx, Puhdys, A Split Second, Bloodhound Gang, Gotcha!
  • Currently hacking on: Firedrop2, Sextile

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-06-28 15:05:25   {link}
Categories: general, manga, programming, Python, books, music

In a world gone mad

"Being together, writing and recording, we felt it would be irresponsible not to address what's going on in the world while the events are still current. It didn't make sense to us to wait until the entire record was finished to release this song." --Mike D

Read more and download the song here. Laat maar boemen en zoemen die bassen...

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-03-16 22:31:24   {link}
Categories: music

Tegenstrijd, again

Def P: Ik denk dat je met 'Liefdaderheid' zelfs gezeik met de wet kan krijgen als je dat als single uitgeeft.
Interviewer: Hoezo?
Def P: Het nummer is 'aanstootgevend en roept op tot geweld'... En dat mag niet.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-02-27 22:24:37   {link}
Categories: music, Nederland


Tegenstrijd. Kopen die moddervette CD. :-)

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-02-19 21:58:29   {link}
Categories: music, Nederland

Sunday's linkfest

Some random links and things:
  • beastieboys.com: "What's up with the Beasties? The band has recently setup a new recording studio, and have begun working on their sixth studio album - the first since Hello Nasty (1998). At this stage, they've got some nice beats down, but have not yet completed any full tracks for the forthcoming release."
  • I want the new OP CD. Too bad I probably cannot order it from here. :-(
  • The Z-Bomb zone, with downloadable mp3s. (Although the old site used to have more. ::frown::)
  • White Wolf
  • Low-Life's UK Hip Hop Story. This page has quite a few links to music files. They're in RealAudio format, unfortunately, and you might need some trickery to be able to actually download them.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-01-12 09:47:18   {link}
Categories: music

Styles of Beyond

The site of Styles of Beyond's label, Spytech Records, cannot be reached, but there's Megadef. It was not so easy to find out what happened to the group; they were supposed to release their next album "Terraform" last year, but it never saw the light of day, and then I read that they broke up in early 2002. But now they're claimed to be back together again, and the album "Megadef" is expected in early 2003. Hmmz.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2002-11-02 16:27:41   {link}
Categories: music

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