There’s no single truth
“What I’d really like is to have a studio where I could spend the whole winter. And in the summer I’d just do live gigs.”
Chefket has many different sides. OK, we all do. But Chefket lives them all out – and that’s probably what ultimately sets him apart from the rest of the field. While his fellow rappers typically try to project as one-dimensional an image of themselves as possible, one that will come across to anybody and everybody, Chefket embodies challenging contrasts – in his music as well as his life. So for this son of Turkish parents, who grew up in tranquil Heidenheim in Southern Germany, it’s no contradiction to be a devout Muslim who fasts during Ramadan but smokes and drinks when he goes out to clubs.
As for his music, he feels equally at home onstage at a freestyle competition (of which he has won a good number) as in spontaneous street performances, equipped with only a microphone and portable amplifier. He doesn’t see his music as a product. Although he’s been making music actively for more than ten years, he just recently has released an album with the characteristic title “Einerseits, andererseits,” which translates as “on the one hand, on the other hand.”
In his raps, Chefket assumes various perspectives, allowing them to enter into dialogue with one another. There’s no single truth that’s preached from the pulpit, no clear good-vs.-evil formula. His rhymes blur boundaries – between truth and lies, skepticism and hope, criticism of self and of others. Instead of insulting or putting down other rappers, Chefket goes to where it hurts and where it gets tough, searches for meaning, searches for himself, for release and peace of mind. He does so without lecturing, without wagging an admonishing finger and without cheap clichés, but rather with genuine passion and a rapper’s most important asset: tons of skills. After all, he isn’t the “End of the Weak” freestyle champion for nothing.
“I want to show all the things hip-hop can do, bring out feelings, create moods,” Chefket says. He began his career as a rapper at the age of 14, when he often hung out at the house of a friend who was a DJ, rapping his way through his record collection. This included not only rap records, but also drum & bass, funk, downbeat and diverse other genres. Chefket didn’t care what kind of music was playing. He was interested in just one thing: Where was the free space in the music that he could rap over? Basically, this hasn’t changed. He’s still looking for free spaces to rap in, in every respect. “My music is really accessible,” he says. “I don’t exclude anybody and I don’t move in just a hip-hop microcosm.”
He subsequently recorded his own raps and burned these onto countless CDs. But in his small-town environment, he eventually felt too closed-in. When he was 22, he packed up and moved to Berlin, where his musical socialization began in earnest. He met the Ohrbooten, who aren’t exactly a rap group but, with their session approach and, literally, street music, possibly live the spirit of hip-hop more than do a lot of studio gangsters. Their spontaneity left an enduring mark on him. He began to freestyle and got to know a multitude of musicians. The rest is history – one full of contrasts and contradictions. Just like life.
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
(10 November 11 - 12 November 11)