Kaliber 44 is the legendary group that irreversibly shaped the Polish hip-hop stage. Although the opinions regarding their best album are perfectly divided, I decided to start with “W 63 Minuty Dookoła Świata” (“Around the World in 63 Minutes”) since this great album is probably also the least hermetic one.
It’s impossible to find more meritorious and pioneering hip-hop band in Poland. The trio was set up in the beginnings of the 90′s, being one of the first groups representing this genre. Their first album “Księga Tajemnicza. Prolog” was released in 1996 and is considered to be one of the strangest recordings in Polish hip-hop. The debut’s distinctive feature is its mysterious, psychedelic character expressed in the way of rhyming, lo-fi production, countless unidentified screams and moans recorded in the background and lyrics. The Katowice-based trio’s rap focuses mainly on legalization of marijuana which was, undoubtedly, the band’s biggest muse and inspiration in that period. It is worth underlining that in those days hip-hop was something completely new for the Polish audience and getting the wide acclaim was an incredibly difficult task. Kaliber 44 definitely managed to do that.
Two years had passed and Kaliber 44 was about to release their second album. The expectations aroused after the excellent teaser – the first single “Film” – which is still a bit psychedelic, but much closer to the traditional hip-hop stylistics. Finally the “W 63 Minuty Dookoła Świata” hit the shelves and met with very positive reception, even achieving the gold record status. The lyrics deal with a broad range of topics and the rappers present their skills, playing with words in a witty way. From this album on the band was officially joined by DJ Feel-X, whose scratches made Kaliber’s recordings important not only for Polish hip-hop but turntablism also.
“W 63 Minuty Dookoła Świata” is, unfortunately, the last Kaliber 44 album recorded in the original line-up. Just after the album had been recorded, Piotr “Magik” Łuszcz left the band to set up a new group – Paktofonika. The remaining members of Kaliber 44 have recorded only one more album “3:44″, which is definitely worth recommending. Although the group disbanded ten years ago, its albums remain among the most respected recordings of Polish hip-hop. Even though the history of Polish rap is not as long and colourful as American, such bands cause that there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Recommended if you like: Gravediggaz, Wu-Tang Clan, The Pharcyde, De La Soul
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Football curiosities and trivia by Jurek Chyb. Listen and be surprised. Including crucial issues, e.g: Is there a stadium that has a higher seat capacity than the total population of the town it’s based in? Have any professional footballers ever played two matches on the same day? Who is the youngest ever professional footballer to play in a league match? Has a football referee ever been sent off?
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“Let’s do something real” – sing this English band, but their music tends to be more unreal and ephemeral than down-to-earth.
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Watch the trailer below:
For more about “My Flesh, My Blood” click www.mojakrew.hagi.pl (Polish only)
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