Fuck You. Fuck With Me.
“I don’t give a fuck/on that new school punk shit,/ all these niggas suck/this that new school funk shit,/Dizzee fell off /and Kano did too”
Bounequou Fitzroi, aka Zack Taylor, from the song “SHUT THE FUCK UP”
Much like the above-quoted dope UK hip-hop track, LORD PUSSWHIP is a critical reaction to the local music scene; to the inertia and nepotism of the Icelandic music industry; to typical small-town boredom. I do not want to make music that’s easy, formulaic or safe. I want the explosiveness—the fun, the surprise, the batshit insanity. We Icelanders are so open-minded and of course everyone agrees that our music scene is perfect and that everything is just fine. But for me, something was missing. Lord Pusswhip is a mutant, a musical carnivore, a curse. Spawned out of the muck—forged from the flames of the lame.
For the uninitiated: there was generally not a lot of interesting music going on in Iceland in the 60s and 70s (a few exceptions aside). However, in the dreaded 80s, everything changed.
Punk, like most trends, arrived late to Iceland. Director Friðrik Þór Friðriksson’s 1984 rockumentary ‘Rokk í Reykjavík’ documented this strange new music at a critical time. In the film you could see up-and-comers such as Björk, Einar Örn and others—people who would in a few years start The Sugarcubes and the accompanying record label Smekkleysa (“Bad Taste”). Bad Taste’s motto was: “World domination or death.” The expansion of Icelandic music had begun. The Sugarcubes were fresh, odd and different. This was a paradigm shift in Icelandic culture, but it also created a few myths.
Yes, Iceland’s music and art scene is quite interesting and vibrant relative to its size, “per capita” as they say, but the biggest running joke in Iceland is that we’re always the greatest at something “per capita.” We do have an inflated view of our culture and ourselves—we’re among the few countries in the world that somehow manages to earnestly and regularly spout nationalistic drivel without it being called out as fascist fantasizing. And when it comes to our music, I think it’s a post-Björk thing—at some point we were told that we make great music, and we believed it. Foreigners with a culture boner did too.
A long way from Björk’s progressive and futurist artistry, some of the big musical acts here play extremely safe, festival-friendly music. I’m not hatin’ on those fine folks—I just don’t want anything to do with that type of dour blandness. The moment we become content is the moment we stop striving to do better, and more. Hip-hop is a vehicle for change, a crusher of the mediocre and the ultimate art of one-upmanship.
By now you’re probably asking yourself: “Who is this man? Why is he shouting at me?”
I will continue to shout at you for a little while longer.
I will continue to shout at you for a little while longer, because it is fun and I want to keep doing it. Because it feels so right… so fulfilling. Better than sex.
Life is cray-cray. Fuck with me.
Pusswhip’s Picks: Local legends in the making, according to the connoisseur
A parking meter dude by day, a top DJ and producer at night. Marteinn is definitely one of Iceland’s top three hip-hop producers; his turnt-up, upbeat tracks sound like he should be working with the big guys in the USA.
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I’ve probably made most of my beat collaborations with the homie Lord Vrong, for example the beat to the fabled “Metro Nome” (with Antwon and Wiki93). Check out his ultra-blunted 90s revival.
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Gulli from Fufanu on the droney, psychedelic tip. Washes of feedback and ominous guitar melodies. See him live for the whole shebang (hint, hint: mushroom season is here).
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The extremely chill and laid back Icelandic crew Geimfarar (“Cosmonauts”) hail from downtown Reykjavík. Effortless stuff that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
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