Belarusian hip hop music dates back to the early to mid 1990s and has produced three waves of Belarusian rappers.

History and formation of Belarusian rapEdit

Having evolved around a most influential rap crew of the mid 90's Udar Bandy (Удар банды, The Gang Strikes) and their associates Ё.Б.Т.В.О.Ю.М.А.Т.Ь. (S.C.R.E.W.Y.A.M.O.T.H.E.R.), the first wave was a movement of the most numerous, committed and impassioned rappers in Belarus (born in the late 70's - early 80's). Originating from the city of Lepel, Udar Bandy recorded two amateur highly acclaimed tape albums that were recopied and changed hands massively. These tapes produced a great effect on the youth trapped in a disorienting crime and poverty striken environment. In 1997, after recording the controversial studio album Uroki Rasslableniya (Уроки расслабления, Chill Out Lessons) Udar Bandy disappeared from the scene to reemerge in 2007 as the core of a creative alliance called Da Joint with the debut album Vikhod (Выход, A Way Out).

Grozn1y is a Belarusian-American hip hop producer and rapper. He was born in Belarus, but lives in New York City.

Among other influential rap artists of the mid-'90s are Kat, Ghetto Mentalitet (Гетто менталитет, Ghetto Mentality), Miatezhniky (Мятежники, Rebels), Lisy Dil (Лысый Дил, Baldie Dil) and many more.

The most prominent events of this period include underground hip-hop parties at the Rezervatsya (Резервация, Reservation) club in Minsk and Krapiva-98, a hip-hop festival that drew the entire movement to its apogee. However, a great start was followed by a détente, after which most of the old school rappers went underground.

The second wave was led in Minsk by Oleg Litvinuk, a person who tried to turn hip-hop into a mainsteam culture and provided an incentive for an array of mostly ephemerous rappers and rap crews. The rap creativity substantially decreased. However, this wave still managed to produce a number of prominent rappers reminiscent of the old school era. By 2005, most of the old school and second wave rappers disappeared. Among the rappers to emerge during the second wave are Nestandartny Variant (Нестандартный вариант, Irregular Design), who later became a most acclaimed Belarusian pop-rap crew.

The third wave has developed around a Belarusian rap source and is represented by young (born in the late 80's - early 90's) rappers. Some of the new artists are as charismatic and committed as the old school pioneers, others are more into diss and bling-bling rap.

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