On the trail of rap, graffiti, DJing and breakdancing in Europe: On 16 April, "Back 2 Tape" celebrated its world premiere via Porsche Newsroom. We are very pleased about the positive feedback to our documentary about the roots of hip-hop in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, London and Paris.
Today, I would like to give you the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of the production in our #askmeanything. We want to focus not only on the artists but above all on the fascinating cities and locations of the road trip.
Which places have inspired you in particular?
49 Rue de Montparnasse, Paris: Here, hidden in a backyard, lies one of the oldest art printing houses in the French capital. Even works of art by Matisse and Picasso were reproduced here. In 2017, Nicolas Couturieux and a few like-minded creative people breathed new life into the old, heavy printing rollers and brought a lot of hip-hop spirit and especially graffiti to this historic place.
Sabadell is an industrial town on the outskirts of Barcelona. There, in the shadow of the blocks, the crew members of Falsalarma grew up. It was the first stop of our trip and a very special moment to visit this place with the MCs David & Ángel Navarro Romero (aka El Santo & Titó) and DJ Neas.
Lobeckstraße, Berlin: Right between the districts Kreuzberg and Berlin Mitte is the Flying Steps Academy - home to the biggest urban dance school in Germany. Workshops in Breakdance, Hip-Hop, Urban Dance, Commercial, House, Dancehall, Freestyle as well as Contemporary or Ballet: There is a huge range of offers for children and young people. What Michael "Mikel" Rosemann and his crew created there with Europe’s best dance coaches and the values they impart is unique to me.
Are there exciting facts about the cities that not everyone knows yet?
Amsterdam goes electric: The Dutch capital is known to many as a bicycle city. But the main focus of Amsterdam is to become a worldwide figurehead for electric mobility. The purchase of electric cars has been subsidized for years, along with a steadily growing network of charging points and the conversion of taxi and delivery vehicles to e-mobility.
Even though Copenhagen is completely flat and it hardly ever snows, there is one rather unexpected way of getting around: downhill skiing! Since the beginning of 2019, Copenhagen has a new landmark, the “CopenHill”. A ski slope was built on the roof of a waste incineration plant, on whose dry ski slope you can ski almost 100 meters down into the valley.
Since July 2019, London is officially allowed to call itself the world’s first National Park City. The award is based on the International Charter for National Park Cities (NPC). Behind the name stands a huge project that aims to make urban life so green that it is like a national park. Whether on roofs, balconies or gardens on traffic islands, the city should provide a home for more natural living space.
We have collected more exciting facts about the mobility visions of our "Back 2 Tape" cities on the Porsche technology blog "Next Level German Engineering".
What are your favorite quotes from "Back 2 Tape"?
"Hip-hop has given me values - especially tolerance." We have deliberately placed this quote from Kool Savas at the beginning of our documentation. It illustrates the core of this youth culture, which has been connecting people all over the world for almost 40 years beyond language barriers and borders.
"You're never too old for hip-hop." Rodney P said this sentence in London while looking at my grey beard. And he's right. For the two episodes of "Back to Tape", 2018 in Germany and 2020 in Europe, I felt over almost all generations that hip-hop is more than just a music genre or a way of dressing that you can grow out of.
"Anyone who believes in it can achieve something with hip-hop." Michael "Mikel" Rosemann from the Flying Steps is a real role model for me. He used to secretly and shyly practice basic steps of breakdancing in his childhood bedroom. Today, he fills huge concert halls, dances to the historical sounds of Johann Sebastian Bach and passes on exactly this spirit to a young generation.
I answer some more of your questions in this #askmeanything video:
More behind the scenes content of "Back 2 Tape" can be found on social media - including TikTok, by the way. There, for example, all artists tell us what our documentary sounds like in their native language. We curated the music to go with the film on Spotify, perfect for the next road trip or even just the way to the office. Individual portraits of the artists and cities can be found in the Porsche Newsroom, and from May onwards we will also be publishing all individual interviews from the trip on Backspin TV.
Official playlist of Back 2 Tape
Back 2 Tape
In 2018, music journalist Niko Hüls embarked on a journey to the roots of hip hop in Germany in "Back to Tape". Now he is continuing his road trip across Europe in a Porsche Cayenne S Coupé. In cooperation with the hip-hop magazine "Backspin.de", the project "Back to Tape" sheds light on cultural influences through the four central elements of hip-hop: rap, DJing, breakdance and graffiti.
Niko's road trip through Europe was taking place before the outbreak of coronavirus. Porsche, Backspin as well as the involved artists are aware of their social responsibility and advise against such a trip at this time out of consideration for the health and well-being of all people.
Photos: Markus Schwer