ISTANBUL - Once controversial Turkish rapper, now pop MC, Sultana takes the reins Tuesday night at Hayal Kahvesi. Last summer she released her album "Şöhret Yolu," which lays hip-hop over R&B and oriental over electronica, making it accessible to a wider audience.
"The song is a tribute to women in Turkey who are victims of abuse... If I had presented myself as a sex object in that clip or if I had taken off my clothes, the video wouldn’t have been banned," she told daily Radical.
The attitude of hip hop
After sinking into the New York hip hop scene for a few years, she resurfaced here to produce "Şöhret Yolu" (Hall of Fame) in 2008. The album’s blend of Oriental sound and Western-style rhymes is equal parts sass and satire, but without much backbeat.
The notion that hip hop musicians should stay away from pop music must only be in Turkey, she said in response to those critical of her emergence on the pop scene with a sound that could be described as rap-lite. "There is no such thing in U.S.," she said. "You blend classical music, jazz or ethnic voices into [hip hop]ÉThis is the attitude; it is not that some are bad, others are good."
Ahmet Ertegün, the late Atlantic Records owner said she made a mark with her first album, calling her "a smart poet, a rap musician, an incredibly attractive young lady on her way to being a fantastic singer."
Sultana / Tuesday, 13 January / Hayal Kahvesi / Büyükparmakkapı Sokak 19, off İstiklal Caddesi near Taksim