Podcast review “already heard?”: the high culture of the underclass

Sibylle Berg tells the podcast "What is rap for you?" why she became a hip-hop fan, even though she doesn’t actually like music.

She hates crowds as much as music: Sibylle Berg Photo: dpa

Writer Sibylle Berg is a hip-hop fan. In the second episode of the podcast "What is rap for you?" she tells music journalist Niko Backspin how that happened. For her novel published this year, "GRM. Brainfuck," Berg embarked on a research trip into the grime cosmos.

Grime, you have to understand it. And Berg gives the impression in the podcast that she has done quite a bit to achieve this, at least from a subjective point of view: she went to British social housing estates and tried to find out why all the kids are constantly watching grime videos on their cell phones. She has met with artists, even attended a concert, although she dislikes crowds as much as music in general.

"What’s Rap to You?" appears every other Friday on Spotify and Deezer.

And then it happened: Grime got Berg into music after all.

The hip-hop subgenre, which translates to "dirt," emerged in the early 2000s, but grime has only made it beyond its own circles in the last few years. This may also have something to do with the fact that the well-known US rapper Kanye West performed together with grime artist Skepta at some point.

There is also laughter

What ultimately convinced Berg to embrace grime? It was the anger and rebellion of young people on the periphery of major British cities, she says.

The beauty of this rap podcast is that it doesn’t get lost in shop talk, but gets right down to the nitty-gritty – and that’s in conversation with a representative of supposed "high culture."

Give us a listen, too: You can find the taz podcasts at https://corfit.ru/Podcast.

There’s talk about serious things and still a lot of laughter: for example, when Backspin asks Berg if it’s embarrassing to listen to hip-hop. "I’m so over that," she replies nonchalantly. "Feeling embarrassed, after all, always presupposes that you function in the expectation of others."

Unfortunately, one thing does get in the way: the presenter’s embarrassment. It often prevents him from deviating from his list of questions. As a result, some questions are far too brief, such as the question about what literature and hip-hop have in common.