Their father’s boys are from western Oslo, girls in headscarves from the eastern edge, and ladies in suits in their fifties. They all sang “God, God” as the nation’s carp gathered at ten concerts on the Oslo spectrum. How did the rap duo turn Islamic prayer hymns into lyrical melodies?
– A collective pride arose in these men. They have created something that affects us all, across generations, across the dividing lines in Oslo, whether you live in the East or the West. Even my fellow 60-year-olds, who don’t have a strong connection to the album, want tickets now.
That’s what Mala Wang Naveen, author and editor of Norsk Knock says.
– Never heard of it before
This week, the duo ended their winning streak at the Oslo Grand Hall. With 10 sold-out shows, more than 100,000 audiences will witness the experience of Majdi Omar Yatrade Abdul Majeed and the musical universe of Jirag Rashmikant Patel.
This makes it completely unique, says Dagbladet’s culture editor Sigrid Hvidsten.
– Karp is not only Norway’s largest rap group, but Norway’s biggest music artist. Filling the Oslo spectrum ten times in a row has never been heard of. It has never happened before. I don’t think even a-ha could have done that in their heyday in the ’80s.
Hvidsten believes the group’s career has taken the opposite direction of many other artists who became itinerant in the starry sky before fading out. Instead, Karp has built his fan base, stone by stone, over more than 20 years as an artist.
– They have made a huge number of hit songs and lyrics that resonate with listeners. They make us think of ourselves and have earned a reputation as perhaps the best live band in Norway.
The culture editor believes that the community involvement the group is known for today can actually be traced back to the debut of EP “Glasskår” from 2004. At the time the lyrics, tunes and music were much simpler than they are known today.
– However, words were part of this new Norwegian experience. Then I met them. They were young and very cute. I remember one thing in particular Majdi said; “We want to have an attitude, but also to be entertained.” They have run like a common thread throughout their careers. They mean something and mean something strongly. But they also make people dance.
Middle-aged women from the eastern edge
Especially in recent albums, Karpe’s multicultural background has become a bigger part of the music world and not just the lyrics. Wang Navin believed that it was of great importance to many.
– They brought us together in a very special way. It is historical to fill the Spektrum ten times in a row. They have created tremendous pride in the diaspora. Even my dad, who’s not a carp fan, called me and said “I kind of want to go carp.”
She suggests that the duo, through their words, gave us common references to Norwegians and brought us together.
Having a language means having power. Like “White Men Pay the Fifty” and “Rebels in the Basement”. I am an old, middle-aged woman from the eastern tip of Oslo, and several children who look like men in Karp, have seen that you can make it to the top of Norway. You can actually have that power to define you, too. Karp did it, then you can do it.
no longer translated
It means tracking a change in carb. Wang Navin refers to the phrase “Nobody in Aftenposten knows what the sheriff said here now.” Because I’ve been an interpreter in your country for 40 years” from the song ‘KENYA (Live from DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai)’.
– Chirag Rap that he has been a translator for Aftenposten for 40 years now. They translated a lot in one way or another. This record, which now drives and fills the Spektrum, is doing so on their own terms. Now we no longer bother to be interpreters. Now everyone should try to understand this. We will not explain it further.
Erik Bergsen from Norwegian State believes that Karp has broadened our understanding of what it means to be Norwegian.
– We sing “God God” in the simmering spectrum. These are words that made many a few years ago think about terrorism. They broaden Norwegians’ definition of being Norwegian by being themselves and using their references. They’re really not trying to say anything about Norway all the time, they’re trying to say something about themselves.
– They’re angry
The communications expert says that music is always more important than politics.
– You must be able to dance and sing. That will always come first, then the politician next. Besides, it’s political satire. But we must not be fooled into not taking social criticism seriously, when we sing and dance. Because they are facing Norwegian society and they are angry.
Bergissen thinks lines of text like “This is where my tax money goes” and “Rebellion in a basement apartment” are obvious political statements. He interprets the album “Heisann Montebello” as a criticism of the way Norway went after July 22 and the role that the group itself had.
– They became mainstream in many ways after July 22 when they played at memorial concerts and in churches. The album “Heisann Montebello” was in response to the fact that they thought Norway was going in the wrong direction afterwards. They themselves have become a kind of amulets and are very popular.
Police Festival on the island
July 22 wasn’t the only time Karp became a rallying point in terror-hit Norway. Culture editor Hvidsten believes Øya’s party in 2019 is one of Karpe’s strongest moments.
– They were the headlines. On the same day, Philip Manshaus killed his sister, Johan Zangija Ihle Hansen, and entered the mosque in Berom. It was a deep earnest though as it was a Carp Party and Island Festival. The preparation for terrorism was at its peak and there were a lot of armed policemen.
– Of course Karp talked about her from the stage, but they carried out their show as planned. The show was incredibly dancing. Once upon a time there was a very decent police lady standing next to me. She sounded authoritarian, but Carpi played “Skittels”. Then they both started dancing. Here I stood, the policewoman and the whole Oya festival, dancing together. I felt it was a unification and a very nice end to what had been a very good day.
It is not only through music that Karp wants to change Norway. Through the “Patel and Abdul Majeed Foundation”, the group donates all the money they now earn from the master’s rights on all their publications until “Omar Sharif”. Through the paf.no website, they inform the public about the fund’s income and allocations. So far, 1 million NOK has been distributed to measures to help refugees, asylum seekers and/or migrants.
On Instagram, the duo wrote that they are giving away “the entire catalog. All the income. For the rest of my life and for a good while. It’s our legacy.”
But not everyone agrees that the box is Karp’s legacy.
– I don’t think it’s their legacy. I think the music, the lyrics, the entire musical universe they have – that’s the legacy. Through this, they opened up entirely new conversations, Hvidtsen believes.
Wang Navin says that feeling compelled to give back is something many with a minority background can relate to.
I think the legacy they are talking about relates to a commitment that many of us who have a minority background feel. We have to return something. We have to give something back for the opportunity our parents created for us here. It is an eternal religion. But I also agree that music is basically the most important thing here.
A piece of myself
Wang Navin is clear on one thing.
– Has the carp changed Norway?
The editor took his two sons, ages 10 and 11, to a prom. They don’t think it’s embarrassing to go to a carb with mom.
– I feel like I’m giving them a piece of myself through this music. through carb.
You can get the Norwegian state program on TV 2 Nyhetskanalen every Thursday at 17.30 and on TV 2, play anytime.
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