A classical take on Hip Hop
Since the emergence of Hip Hop in the 1970’s Bronx, the genre has been constantly evolving – whether we talk about the lyrical subject matter or the musical composition of the beats. Did it reach its evolutionary apogee?
Back in June, Hypebeast briefly mentioned a symphonical adaptation of Hip Hop by posting a 10-minute video of a rendition of “Hip Hop history” orchestrated by JIMEK and performed by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. But what happened before is what makes for the truly special project.[Hip Hop History Orchestrated by JIMEK]
In March 2015 in Katowice, Poland, two musical universes collided in one-of-a-kind concert titled JIMEK x Miuosh x NOSPR. The performance was a collaboration of two extraordinary Polish artists, Miuosh – a Katowice-based rapper with a 15-year long career in Polish Hip Hop and JIMEK – a classical music composer and producer who points to Hip Hop as his primary musical inspiration.
The two joined forces with Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) to adapt some of the best of Miuosh’s songs and together perform at NOSPR Philharmonic Hall in Katowice. The uniqueness of the project lies not only in an idea itself, but in the fact how unheard of the ambiance of the philharmonic is for Hip Hop artists – this posed a great challenge for Miuosh, to rap without a DJ or even a beat.
Krzysztof Krot, the project’s producer, came up with the idea when the new philharmonic hall was built near Bogucice, a neighborhood in Katowice and the home of Silesian Hip Hop [Silesia is in the southwestern region of Poland] and instantly contacted Miuosh to be a part of it.
Miuosh’s rapping career started in 2001 and since then he has been an active innovator Polish Hip Hop, collaborating with such Polish legends like Kaliber 44 [Group formed in 1993 in Katowice, known for their Hardcore Psycho Rap style] and then bringing to life his own group, Projektor. His later projects focused on how his life was influenced by his Silesian background, hence the importance of the location of the performance.
Miuosh and Krot were looking for an appropriate composer to orchestrate Miuosh’s tracks – not an easy task as composers are usually associated with sticking to classical music. They found a perfect fit in a young and charismatic composer with a refreshing take on classical music.
JIMEK was a music school dropout, later earning musical degrees at UCLA and Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland. Heavily influenced by Hip Hop giants like Wu-Tang Clan and Beastie Boys, he composed numerous tracks for movies and TV series, becoming internationally known after winning Beyoncé’s contest for remixing “End Of Time” (listen here). But performing with NOSPR was a dream come true – it’s the best orchestra in Poland and one of the best worldwide. He did not hesitate and took the offer.
Despite tremendous pressure and only 3 days of rehearsals, the concert was such a success that they needed to scheduled two more dates. Tickets sold out in minutes.
You can listen to the whole project on Apple Music by downloading the record JIMEK x Miuosh x NOSPR 2015.