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Young rapper Gipsy using hip hop to "provoke all sides"
16-12-2004  David Vaughan, Ian Willoughby

Gipsy is a young Czech Romany rapper whose latest album is called "Ya Favourite CD Rom", with Rom a play on the Czech word for a Romany. Radio Prague caught up with Gipsy this week, and he told us about his relationship to Romany culture, his plans and - of course - his music.

Gipsy, photo: David Vaughan "I'm rapping, I'm not playing in a Roma band. The question is: why not? It's 2004. I'm looking to the future, I'm not looking to the past - the past is behind me. I've been using Roma instruments on my album, there are live instruments from Roma culture. I didn't forget my music, I just changed it to the future."

"I have forgotten the Roma language. I grew up on the Czech streets with Czech people, so I've spoken Czech all the time. I know words, I understand pieces of language, but I don't get it all.

"My plan is not to stay with my music here. I've made already three albums before and they are in Czech. What I wanted to do was level up, I wanted to go a level up, which means I want to do an album for the international scene, not only the Czech scene. Because why spend my lifetime making another Czech album? I can make millions of Czech albums.

Gipsy, photo: David Vaughan "I want to provoke all sides. Not only the white side - I want to provoke all sides. I mean both...Gypsies, and everyone whose listening. I don't want to go around...I just want to say if this is Coca Cola it is, I'm not going to say yeah, it's some black drink - no. So I'll say this is Gypsy, this is white, and it's like that. The best way to provoke, for me, is to make ironic very black fun.

"My song Life of a Roma is about one young Gypsy. He takes drugs; he sniffs toulen, which is a chemical. He's trying to describe his life and he feels like yeah, I'm someone, I'm cool. But he's really ground zero, he's no-one. So that's what the track is about. It's funny that he comes to steal a car but he's not able to steal the car because he's on drugs and he doesn't know he's doing. So it's funny, but it's true and it's also very realistic."

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