Rap, graffiti, DJing and breakdancing are the four core elements that have always defined hip hop and today make it the biggest youth culture in the world. But that's not all. “Hip hop is more than a clothing style, a form of dance or a music genre,” says Niko Hüls. After all, the Hamburg-based music journalist and editor of Backspin magazine knows what he’s talking about. A renowned expert who is closely networked within the scene, he conducts national and international interviews, hosts podcasts, writes record reviews and inspires the young community with a wide variety of TV streaming offerings and conversation partners from the hip hop world.
Showing the diversity of the hip hop world
Since 2018, Hüls has been searching for clues in Germany and Europe in association with Porsche. Through two feature-length video documentaries, Back to Tape (2018) and Back 2 Tape (2020), the music journalist led a team that sought to get to the bottom of the roots of an entire cultural movement.
Niko Hüls meets Falsalarma and El Xupet Negre in Barcelona
Away from promotional tours and packed arenas, the Head of Backspin meets rappers, DJs, street artists and dancers, delving into the creative scenes of European metropolises to illuminate the contribution his guests make to diversity and cohesion on the continent. “Hip hop has always had the power to connect people, regardless of country or origin, and to convey values such as respect, tolerance and passion across generations,” says Hüls, as he outlines the philosophy behind the “Back to Tape” format.
Back 2 Tape - the book will be published in March 2021
Next year, Hüls and Porsche will literally open the next chapter of their joint format as Christophorus Edition will publish Hip Hop Culture: A Road Trip through Europe, a book about their journey from Hamburg to Stuttgart, Amsterdam to London, Copenhagen to Berlin, and Barcelona to Paris. It is already available for pre-order at www.back2tapebook.com from the Delius Klasing publishing house. It will launch as an exclusive online edition and in selected specialist stores in March 2021. Those who reserve the book in advance will receive a digital voucher on request before Christmas.
Niko Hüls meets Kool Savas and Josi Miller in Berlin
A host of stories with acts like Kool Savas, Lord Esperanza, Pete Philly, Duan Wasi, Josi Miller, Edson Sabajo, Apex Zero, El Xupet Negre, Lars Pedersen, Toni-L and Michael "Mikel" Rosemann from the Flying Steps are included. Additionally, topics covering a range of themes such as integration and xenophobia, linguistics, hip hop history, as well as emancipation and equality find their deserved place in the publication. The book comprises more than 176 pages, highlights urban youth culture in eight cities and tells stories about 15 artists - from breakdancers, graffiti and street artists to rappers, DJs and beatboxers. Hip Hop Culture: A Road Trip Through Europe costs €24.90, and all proceeds will be donated by Porsche to a good cause, in collaboration with Niko Hüls.
The successful Back to Tape format
This joint book project is another building block within the successful “Back to Tape” format. Since 2018, Hüls and the sports car manufacturer have been making common cause by travelling across Europe and inspiring more than two million viewers across all generations with the documentaries. Today, cross-media communication includes a Spotify playlist in addition to individual artist portraits and social media presences on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.
Communication experts from Germany and Europe have honoured the collaboration and its publishing projects with more than 20 prestigious communication and media awards so far. These include the German Prize for Online Communication (DPOK), the Digital Communication Award, the European Excellence Award, the Annual Multimedia Award, the Handelsblatt ECON Award and the Fox Award. It has been praised for its strong visual design in illustrating the interaction between the brand and a young target group.
Official playlist of Back 2 Tape
Niko Hüls and Porsche produced their European road trip before the outbreak of Covid-19. Porsche, Backspin and the artists involved are aware of their social responsibilities and are advising against recreating such a trip until it is safe and travel is permitted.