reykjavikurdaetur are the 15 strong female icelandic rap crew making their voices heard
Few people seem to realise the extent of the hip hop scene in Reykjavik. These girls are killing it.
With 15 members (20 if you count their DJ and overseas affiliates), Reykjavikurdaetur are the female hip hop crew immense in both size and force. Rapping about everything from politics to anal sex, they penned the Icelandic Slut Walk anthem and plan on continuing their rightful reign over the Icelandic hip hop scene, disrupting what they find to still be a very male dominated world. Ahead of what promises to be an entertaining set at Iceland Airwaves (we've heard rumours of strap-ons by friends who've witnessed their live show before, and a promise of circle jerks with vegan beef jerky by the band themselves), we catch up with the activists-cum-musicians inspired by vaginas and humans.With air raid sirens making the confrontation in their new track HÆPIÐ all the more unnerving, hit play on the exclusive stream below and get to know the daughters of Reykjavik.
What are the pros and cons of having so many members?
I think that there are a surprisingly few cons about being in this big a group. Maybe It's just because we like each other, have love for each other and all have the drive to keep this going in common. I think because of how many we are we can create and perform in a very unique way. What makes it easy as well is that we often write music in smaller groups (solos, duos, trios) and then come all together with a bang! If there's one thing that is difficult about the size of the group it would have to be the fact that making set lists and making sure everyone gets to perform can be rather challenging.
What do you think about the current state of the Icelandic music scene?
The music scene in Iceland is very much alive and flourishing. Icelandic hip hop has got much more mainstream which is great! Sadly it still seems that women are not given as much support, especially in that particular scene, but we are hoping to change that for good.
Who are your favourite Icelandic hip hop artists?
There are so many good ones right now! To name a few: Úlfur Úlfur, Alvia Islandia, Cell 7, GKR and Geimfarar.
Do you consider your music to be a form of activism?
In a way it inescapably is. Just being fifteen women on stage performing is a kind of activism. And that is what we came from: The urge to create a voice for ourselves in society and why not use rap? Especially since that field is completely male-dominated and has been known for being degrading towards women. It's basically just punk. We didn't know how to rap, but we did it anyway and that must be some kind of activism.
What topics do your songs typically cover?
Everything from politics to anal sex. We have written so many diverse songs. To name a few topics we have written a song about sexual violence called D.R.U.S.L.A (S.L.U.T.) which was written as the Icelandic Slut Walk anthem, a song about the Icelandic corruption called Blamm Blamm Blamm, a song called Búinaðbangann which translates to 'already banged him' -- which is pretty self explanatory.
Do you worry or care about foreigners not understanding your message?
I think the power that we have as performers translates. It's like you don't have to understand our language to understand what we are saying you can usually read it through the crowd and the vibes.
What do you want to achieve? How do you intend to do it?
World domination. Keep on fucking things up.
When do you feel most powerful?
After we do a really good gig and we all end up chanting backstage, our smiles won't fade and at that moment you feel like you're part the most important thing in the world and nothing can mess with us.
For you, what would the ultimate day and night in Reykjavik consist of?
Sleep in, cruise into town, buy pens (best pens and worst coffee @ Mál og Menning bookstore), find friends, go swimming in one of our ever so pleasing geothermal pools and by the time you have gotten through this routine it is time to GMT - a phrase similar to GTL from Jersey Shore that means, 'get myself tight'. Once ready, and keep in mind it doesn't matter what day it is, there is always something going on - concerts, art shows or karaoke - just head into town get wasted (or not) and don't be a dick.
And what can people expect from a Reykjavikurdaetur concert?
Lots of pheromones in the air. Us not caring that we are offending you, and you not caring that you are offending us. Maybe a circle jerk of just vegan beef jerky. Definitely a horrible stage dive! You won't want to miss it.
Text Francesca Dunn