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Jakarta Post

Muhammad Marzuki: Hip-hop a la Java

  • Tarko Sudiarno

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Wed, February 24 2010   /  11:52 am

JP/Tarko SudiarnoWho said hip-hop was only for young people?

Just look at Muhammad Marzuki who performs on the stage a musical style that was born in the African-American community in the United States. Older and cultured people like Sindhunata S.J. and artist Butet Kartaredjasa are often seen together with other fans in Yogyakarta.

Marzuki was born in Klaten, Central Java, in 1976, and is a self-taught musician who delved into hip-hop in 1991, later establishing the Jogja Hip-Hop Foundation in 2003.

Marzuki’s take on hip-hop differs from the version found in its country of origin. He has, in his own words, turned the music around 90 degrees to make it more acceptable to a Javanese audience.

“Since birth, we have become accustomed to gamelan music, dangdut, sholawatan [Islamic] music and jathilan [dance with mystic overtones] rhythms,” says Marzuki, who...