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German DJ Marc Hype on the Tracks That Define Hip Hop

Ahead of his India tour, the German DJ picks everything from Run DMC to the Beastie Boys as his favorite hip hop artists

Rolling Stone India Nov 25, 2014
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Marc Hype. Photo: Magdalena Zlotos

Marc Hype. Photo: Magdalena Zlotos

Since 2004, hip hop fans across the world have been witnessing a mindbending performance that redefined the genre for them. They saw a classical pianist take to stage with a hip hop DJ. Berlin-based DJ Marc Gärtner, who goes by the alias Marc Hype, first began performing with  pianist Jim Dunloop a decade ago and returns to India for his second tour of the country this month. While Indian audiences won’t get to see him scratch tracks alongside Dunloop, Marc Hype hopes to give fans a lesson or three on the art of hip hop, with a little help from UK/Mumbai hip hop DJ Uri.

The German DJ won the International Turntablist Federation’s DJ championship [now called the International DJ Association Championship] twice in a row in 1998 and 1999, and is probably the best if you’re looking for a lesson in hip hop. In addition to workshops, Marc Hype will also perform in New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai this week. Ahead of the tour, Hype shared a playlist comprising his favorite hip hop songs. Listen below:

Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force – “Planet Rock”

As classic as it gets, this Electrofunk pioneering tour de force from one of the Grandfathers of hip hop and the founder of the Zulu Nation just changed everything when it came out in ’82. Inspired by Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express” and Babe Ruth’s “The Mexican,” master producer Arthur Baker just settled the score for the following generations.


Run DMC – “Peter Piper”

When it comes to serious DJ/MC tracks, this is the most outstanding. Done before as a live routine in countless shows, chipping the famous “Take me to the Mardi Gras” Break by Bob James, enhanced with powerful 808 kicks and snares, just brings my adrenaline up every time I’m hearing this masterpiece. Run DMC is without a doubt of one of the greatest rap groups of all time.

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Eric B. & Rakim – “Don’t Sweat the Technique”

There could easily be dozens of tracks standing here, featuring the god MC Rakim on the mic, but especially this one suits my set the most nowadays. The combination of the rearranged Young Holt & Unlimited bassline with the Kool & the Gang horns and Rakim’s lyrics on top just sets every dance floor on fire immediately.


Grandmaster Flash & The furious 5 – “The Message”

A magnum opus from one of the very first pioneering groups of the old school. They changed the way hip hop artists expressed vocally with their socially conscious  lyrics, which were totally new in 1982. Before them, there were just party lyrics and they brought reality into the game. Plus, the beat still sounds fresh even after 32 years.


KRS One – “Sound of da Police”

The Blastmaster Kris Parker supported the worldwide hip hop movement from almost day one with his Boogie Down Productions (RIP Scott la Rock). All his early records are classic material. He delivered positive messages and social criticism in a broad variety of styles without losing the hard edge of MCing and street credibility. “Sound of da Police,” produced by the mighty Showbiz of DITC, is his indisputable floor burner!


Gangstarr – “Full Clip”

Even if it’s overplayed for many people, for me this is still one of the best tracks Guru & DJ Premier produced ever. Gangstarr is one of the best and purest DJ/MC combos of all time and Full Clip is their anthem that stands the test of time.


 Big Daddy Kane – “RAW”

Always a tie between Rakim and Kane for me. Kane is without a doubt one of the best lyricists in Hip Hop ever. “RAW” used to be battle lyrics from his school days, before the legendary producer Marley Marl built him this classic on the basis of Bobby Byrd’s “Hot Pants.”

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EPMD – “So Watcha Sayin'”

One of my favorite hip hop acts of all time. Just love every album from them from beginning to end. The hypnotic B.T. Express riff fits perfectly with the relaxed rhyme styles from Erick Sermon & PMD, supported by DJ Scratch’s turntable skills. Definitely a masterpiece from the golden age of hip hop.


Mobb Deep – “Shook Ones Pt. II”

This track is the blueprint for NYC street poetry. This is Mobb Deep in their high times and shows a perfect picture of New York in the mid Nineties. It’s like they composed the official soundtrack to this time and place.


Beastie Boys – “Intergalactic”

The first white rap crew that totally invented their own style and proved it over the centuries. Nobody can’t front on the Beasties (RIP Adam Yauch), whose genre switching albums made the soundtrack to many generations. “Intergalactic,” with Mixmaster Mike on the decks is one of their best party rocking tracks that fills every dancefloor ’till today!


Marc Hype will kick-off his third India tour as part of the Indo-German Youth Fest and Hip-Hop Movement in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.

Tour Dates:

November 26th – Hip Hop Showcase @ Rumbar, New Delhi w/ DJ Iron Kutz (UK), Rane Shinobi, DJ Jazzy Joe, Pekor (Beatbox)

November 27th – Hip Hop Hurray ”“ Block Party @ Summer House Cafe, New Delhi w/ Jazzy Joe, O.I.C and Iron Kutz

November 29th – Indo-German Hip Hop Showcase @ Church Street Social, Bengaluru w/ DJ Uri, MC Sinaya, Pekor (beatbox) and more

November 30th – Urban Culture Jam @ PLaY Arena, Bengaluru w/ DJ Uri

December 8th – DJ Workshop at True School of Music, Mumbai w/ DJ Uri

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