A compilation of Turkish German hip/hop rap songs, the video “the Best of (German) Turk Hip-Hop Top 10” displays a very stimulating presentation, from its title to the lyrics of the songs. Before the music even begins, the title of the video clip bears evidence of the national emphasis placed by and on the artists, as parenthetically “(German)”, and colloquially “Turk.” Although the video does not play entire songs, the samples from each, display one very prominent similarity, that of very forceful and bold aggression towards those the lyrics are directed to. Even without understanding the words (as they are in German), the physical language of the artists, and the cinematic use of angles, focus, and zooming in and out, speak very strongly towards the effect desired of the songs.
The songs portray the rappers with people surrounding and supporting them from behind, challenging the viewer with aggressive physical language. The camera angles here as well, are from below, creating a larger-than-life and intimidating view of the artists, many of them very aggressively “in your face.” This and the way they represent themselves as a sort of mob, ready to fight should the need arise, presents a very forceful and angry situation on the part of the artists.
The lighting and urban setting of these films contributes to the underground sort of feel of the oppressed fighting for daylight/social upward mobility. The films use shadow and lighting effects, creating fragments of silhouettes rather than people, to underline perhaps the lack of individual social and political representation the artists believe they have in Germany.
Every song as well, is filled with the middle finger. Whether or not the lyrics relay the meaning of this hostility, their presence relays an anger and belligerence again, towards those the videos are directed to.
The image of the Turkish flag is found throughout many of the films, yet only once is there any mention of the German flag, at the beginning of the film, with the Turkish crescent placed in the middle of it.
The lyrics although not entirely audible at some points, are aggressive and forceful.
“I’ll show you, this is your decline, now the Turk is boss”
“We are like children drowned in the sea.”
“Life is a battle, I have to go out and conquer it.”
“No I’m not a guy who’ll attack your grandparents, I’m just a normal dude.”
It is interesting that German, Turkish and English as languages are used in the songs found in the video, creating in itself a very intriguing juxtaposition of language and imagery. Rap, an originally American phenomenon, is here now sung by Turkish rappers, in a German setting, bringing all three traditions to an artistic juxtaposition of history, society, and culture.