On 12 April, 2018, more than 300 invited guests gathered at Stuttgart's Schräglage nightclub, including regional hip-hop celebrities such as Toni-L from Advanced Chemistry, Scotty76, and Duan Wasi from the Kolchose collective. On a big screen, the Back to Tape documentary was celebrating its world premiere. In it, music journalist Niko Backspin takes a Porsche Panamera on a road trip tracing the roots of German hip-hop, building up a picture through his visits to Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Heidelberg. Among those he interviewed for the film were Blumentopf, Samy Deluxe, Namika, Moses Pelham and Curse.
Two years later, the Hamburg hip-hop expert was back behind the wheel. This time cities elsewhere in Europe were calling. In Paris, Barcelona, London, Berlin and Copenhagen, Niko Backspin met artists such as Kool Savas, Lord Esperanza, Lars Pedersen, the Flying Steps, Josi Miller, Edson Sabajo and Falsalarma – musicians, painters, producers and dancers who have all contributed their own stories to the worldwide hip-hop movement and left a lasting mark on the urban youth culture that represents the genre in their respective home cities.
The 90-minute documentary Back 2 Tape was released in April 2020 on Porsche Newsroom as well as Backspin TV on YouTube. The content series has collected more than 20 international PR and communications awards and generated around one million organic views.
Cross-media content series: films, book, playlists and a podcast
In 2021, Backspin and Porsche published a 212-page cultural and travel guide about the road trips. It portrays 17 artists from Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Spain and Denmark who have made a significant contribution to the unfolding of a value-based hip-hop culture over more than 25 years.
The Back to Tape series has also featured in Porsche's 9:11 podcast and at Hamburg's world famous Elbphilharmonie concert hall. A playlist on Spotify provides a soundtrack to the cultural documentary.
“The hip-hop movement has always connected people beyond borders, languages and social backgrounds. These are all values with which we at Porsche identify wholeheartedly,” says Dr Sebastian Rudolph, Vice President Communications, Sustainability and Politics at Porsche AG.
“We want to invite people to encounter hip-hop culture and all its varieties openly and positively,” Niko Backspin adds. “For us the focus is not on concerts, new albums or hit singles, but on people and their stories: their past, how they see hip-hop, their value system.”
Fifty years of hip-hop: Back to Tape 3 to be released on 11 August 2023
Just in time for the anniversary of the joint project, Backspin and Porsche are now announcing the next step in their collaboration. Back to Tape 3 will be released on 11 August. This time, Niko Backspin travels to the US, the motherland of hip-hop culture. During his stops in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, he again meets numerous newcomers and legends.
Fittingly, the documentary is being released in a double-anniversary year: in addition to 75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars, the hip-hop movement is celebrating a milestone. The date 11 August also marks 50 years since DJ Kool Herc and his sister Cindy organised an event in New York's Bronx called Back to School Jam, which is considered to be the place where it all began.
The artists participating in Back to Tape 3 will be announced by Backspin and Porsche in the coming months.