STUTGARTER NACHRICHTEN, August 25, 2006
by Kerstin Bund
(translation by Dr. Alfred Baer)
They could hardly be more diverse. The 30 participants of the youth initiative Rap Present organized by the exchange program, they share neither skin color, language, nor nationality. What keeps them together is the love for Hip Hop. “Hip Hop is the language which everyone in the world can understand.” The words of Eddie Nuñez resounded with deep conviction. “Chief Roc,” as he is known, is one of the 30 young people, aged 16-26, who are participating in the German-American exchange. In July, the Stuttgart artists of the Hip Hop culture visited like-minded youth in Los Angeles. Now, the American emcees, DJs, graffiti artists and breakdancers are returning the visit.
The organizers are the local youth initiative Rap-Presents and the youth center J.U.i.CE.. from Los Angeles. A mixture of geography, local culture and workshops are being experienced by these overseas guests while they are staying with their host families until Monday. The theme of the 12 day sojourn is “Media and Violence”. Hip Hop is an alternative way by which the artists can have discussions with words, song and dance.
Peipei Yuan is a B-girl, which means she dances in the way of breakdance. “I devote my entire life to this music,” says the graceful Asian. Then she gives a little demonstration and suddenly her artists’ name “Peppa” (Pepper in conventional terms) declares itself: apparently made of rubber, she dips to the beat, jumps on her hands, wiggling her legs up so that in the next moment all her joints seem knotted. “When I saw someone ‘break’ for the first time, it changed my life,” she declared. At one time, she hung out in bars and discotheques, swallowed pills and dealt drugs. “Now I am away from all that stuff and there is only Hip Hop for me.” That this can change more than a single life is the conviction of Joshua Aldrete (alias Kenzo). “For me, Hip Hop means peace in the world.”