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The Politics of Mongolian Hip Hop

MC Dizraeli hears how Mongolia’s massive hip hop scene is shaping the country’s future.

MC Dizraeli hears how Mongolia’s massive hip hop scene is shaping the country’s future.

Post-mining boom 'Minegolia' is recovering from an economic crash. Half of the 3 million population lives in the growing capital, Ulaanbaatar. Yet these young, urban Mongolians aren’t turning their backs on traditional rural values.

Dizraeli meets Mongolia’s hip hop pioneers and finds surprising lyrics that dispense moral advice, worry about alcoholism or praise the taste of fresh yoghurt on the Mongolian steppe. Freestyles and conversations across Ulaanbaatar reveal global hip hop influences and deep resonances with Mongolia’s musical heritage.

Hip hop is so popular that Mongolian politicians try to buy up rappers to support their campaigns. However, in the midst of a changing Ulaanbaatar Dizraeli listens to lyrics that are critical of politicians, asking who or what is holding Mongolia back?

Many early rappers were proudly nationalistic, blaming outsiders for Mongolia’s troubles. Now, artists are increasingly focussed on problems within their own society. Dizraeli meets Ulaanbaatar’s freshest beat-makers as they try and use the collaborative origins of hip hop culture to bring unity to a city of nomads, with an ambitious new Mongolian sound.

(Photo: Big Gee with Dizraeli. Credit: 7Digital)

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