One of the gems of German rap history that most people outside German language space will never have heard of, Freundeskreis' (German for friend-circle) Esperanto still stands out as one of those timeless tracks with heart, soul and a message despite approaching its 20th birthday in an era where plastic tracks dominate the charts and rap has all but become an ego celebration of root-chakra values - far fom its original message and intent.
The track is a celebration of the plan-language Esperanto, an artificially designed language intended as fusion of a multitude of languages - conceptualized in order to be learnt quickly, to be used efficiently and to unite cultures of all origins in an effort to facilitatet cultural understanding and cross-culture communication.
And though Esperanto has not caught on with humanity on any significant scale, it still exists today and so does this track it has spawned, sparkling in beuatiful piano and string loops, paired with a magical chorus and a truly marvellous atmosphere that is sure to linger in your head even if you don'tr speak German.
If you dig hiphop and rap, if you miss those days when hiphop meant something and was on a mission to convey empathic values and a call to resistance against the power structure this track will definitely be for you.
It's also one of those tracks that was hugely successful in Germany at the time around the turn of the millenium, arguably one of the last large conscious tracks and albums before rap gave ground to the low-vibration concepts and the wave of overcommercialization - a development that is itself sharply criticized in this track.
Conscious rap has become somewhat of an underground thing these days, some would say this development has been (too) long in the making on purpose. And while many artists still exist that have not forgotten about hiphop's true potential to help people break free from shackles of domination and to facilitate a spirit of resistance against oppression as well as help people form strong tribal bonds of empathy and trust, we are yet to see whether hiphop will celebrate a revival of its original values or be forever lost to the major labels pumping out lower and lower vibration tracks in an effort to distor and silence this once mighty genre of music.
In this context, Esperanto will remain one of those timeless reminders on what conscious rap can be and how profound it can touch the listener's heart far beyond linguistic barriers - a message inherent in the track and album as well.
The video has also turned out wonderfully - another hint as to the warm energy behind the music.
Granted, it is somewhat of a faux-pas to translate these lyrics into English, mainly because some plays on words can't be readily translated, and some things just don't really hit the very same message the original does. However, for this track I felt compelled to give it my best try, so you can get a better feel for the message of the track. I only translated the German parts of the track for ya. Don't take anything too directly, this is just to get you a general feel for where FK is coming from with their message and not the official translation (I don't think there ever was an official translation into English) <3
Loose English translation for Freundeskreis' Esperanto:
Esperanto is entering German suburbs,
Freundeskreis becomes Amikaro,
the 2Pac Amaru of Stuttgart's barrio.
we'll bring you hiphop sounds reflecting all the world 'round us,
cause we kept our focus and stayed true to ourselves,
this for all those rap heads digging tracks from their shelf.
Don Philippo und Frico, the Discjockey
The philosophy: Street peotry
A lingua franca - for all the liberals and immigrants.
A&R's looking like b-boys, cultures burn in money's presence
MSM's definition of hiphop is a farce
we do what we've always done, just the context is fucked up.
But FK is not willing to be an involuntary part of it.
There's nothing that will stop us, nothing to us hold back
We're spreading it across Stuttgart's 'round the world
Tout à tout vient à parler
Esperanto, et à ce jour l'espoir est née
of all the selfless, and not willing to exploit our cultures,
A synonym for let hundred flowers grow,
100 schools of rapcyphers work on finding out their own flow.
music is world language, not a quick scheme money tree,
Escuchar el lenguaje, raps at canto
Fiddel the Biz like Castro the first viola to its final tango.
a quick-to-learn way to talk among the cultures of the world,
based on rumanian, german, hebrew, slavic -
no imperalism of language or privilege of royal-classes
more important is to read between our lines and get
A feel for our style, how it vibes and what my input is,
I am lyricist, international linguist
on the mic amigos, estaj representando
FK Amikaro, motto esperanto
Pour tous les gens qui sont ici
Les temps vient changer avec ce son neuf
Et si tu aimes ce son là
Amikaro et Déborah
C'est qu'un debut
Tu peux conter la dessu
Nous on croit en esperanto
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