Because underground artists, who are often heard rapping but rarely heard speaking, are given a worthy platform.
In her monthly show “HIP HOP LEBT”, Julia Gröschel meets with various protagonists from the hip-hop scene. What sets them apart from other guests in the industry is their shared hip-hop activism and their idealistic view of the culture, which means more to them than fleeting trends or financial security.
What was your first real contact with HIP HOP, Julia?
My first contact with hip hop culture were certainly various formats on MTV as well as the movie “8 Mile”. German rap culture, which was still very niche-ish in Germany, spread into my sphere of influence with “Aggro Berlin” and “Royal Bunker”.
What makes good rap in detail?
For me, the perfect recipe for a good rap song is a driving beat and lyrics that create a kind of wow-effect and give me reflections on more than just one level.
With ‘HIP HOP lebt’ you have created a podcast that was actually missing – how would you say you primarily differ from the already existing ones?
It differs because I can trust on my given network, get ahead of untold stories as well as point of views and bring them to light. My focus is to talk to my guests about their part in hip hop and music culture in general and this results in valuable insights and tips for anyone who wants to do anything with music or learn about different views. I want the professions in the music industry to be visible, just like the people and the struggles behind them, inspire to reflect and initiate changes. My podcast has a greater vision of the monumental hip hop “each one teach one” thinking. Just listen to people talk and you will learn something within that. This is why I also created a team behind the podcast myself including an audio engineer, graphic designer, photographer, editorial assistant just to name a few who all bring valuable insights to the podcast and make it a team project.
I would say especially HIP HOP is kind of a male domain and women have a harder time asserting themselves – what can both artists and consumers etc do to give women more visibility?
I agree. First of all, I deeply think a kind of “safer” space has to be created where females* WANT to take part in general. At the moment, there is a lack of these welcoming structures to give young female professionals the incentive and opportunities to build a sustainable network as well as a rewarding career. This is not an individual challenge, this is a structural issue as especially the music industry is still pretty much a boys club. We are in the beginning of a process making female artists more visible and breaking the glass ceiling. We can all start a change in reflecting our listening behavior as customers and actively support female artists by adding them to playlists, buying merch and concert tickets and recommending them to our network on social media. When it comes to professionals, in my opinion, everyone is obliged to go the extra mile in order to find and support female artists whether it’s within a team, external partners as well as artists on stage or on the turntables and invite, support them and make them visible.
The focus of the podcast is mainly interviews with protagonists of the scene. How do you choose your interview partners?
My goal is to cover every aspect of hip hop culture and many of the professions and topics that go along with it. Thanks to my many years of experience in the music and media industry, I have a unique range of contacts and insights I can use to find thrilling interview partners.
The questions I ask myself prior deciding for a new interview partner:
- What is the “big topic” of our conversation that enlightens, inspires or entertains others?
- Am I interested in the upcoming conversation myself?
- Do I think the overall story is worth hearing?
If I can answer all of these questions with a yes, then I have found my next interview partner.
You have two strong partners at hand, Teufel and JAM FM, to what extent do you support and complement each other on this journey and what plans do you have for the future?
The cooperation with Jam FM has grown quite organically and I am very grateful to be able to record in their studios to create the best possible audio experience for my listeners. Collaborating with Teufel was the logical next step. My podcast is obviously an audio product and Teufel has also been known for the quality of their audio products since they were founded. So this is a match on all possible levels. My plan for the future is to have many more exciting guests and stories featured on my podcast, grow the community behind it and create an impact on the hip hop culture that lasts and inspires listeners.
Credit: Bart Spencer