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Hip Hop/ Rap

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Turkey’s first contact with hip hop music was in 1995 with the Turkish-German posse called Cartel. After that hype, the next move came from Ceza in 2001. He and his friends had been making rap music for a long time, but his album Med Cezir made them popular to a wide audience. After Ceza other artists such as Fuat and Sagopa Kajmer also made it to the mainstream with their albums. Rap is extremely popular, and it has replaced arabesque music in ghettos. There is a huge underground group of young rappers who hold their own parties during the day at venues which are actually bars at night. They can only rent these locations during day time because of alcohol permit issues. The venue owners know that these young people have no other option, so they sometimes cancel concerts at the last minute. This is a great widespread culture that needs leadership and safe venues where they can practice their music.

According to Murat Beşer, hip hop does not sell well in Turkey because the target audience is really young and does not have money. Although it is not visible, hip hop is popular with Dutch-Turks.

Women rap artists have a huge potential but are currently mostly undiscovered except Ceza’s sister Ayben, Aziza A and Sultana all signed by Doublemoon records.


Rap Angels is a underground sister-duo rap artists from İzmir.

Esra Yalçınalp is a journalist who is well-connected with the mainstream and underground rap scene of Turkey.