Serbian hip hop

Serbian hip hop refers to all genres of hip hop music in the Serbian language.[1] The term is also sometimes used to refer to any hip hop music made by Serbs, including instrumental hip hop, as well as rap songs by members of the Serbian diaspora, often in languages other than Serbian. Beogradski Sindikat is considered to be the greatest Serbian hip hop group, along with others like VIP,Psihoaktiv Trip,Sunshine, CYA . The most popular solo artists are Skabo, Ikac, Reksona, Juice, Gru, Struka, Ajs Nigrutin, Marchelo etc.


Early roots

Serbian hip hop first started in the early 1980s, with the birth of b-boy crews. The first Serbian Hip Hop record release was the Degout EP by The Master Scratch Band, which was released by Jugoton in 1984.But the Hip Hop Scene in Serbia was not open and popularized until the Demo bend of teenagers Badvajzer (Budweiser) have not arrived in 1987 and became extremely popular.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, bands such as CYA, Green Kool Posse (Sunshine crew), Who Is The Best, Robin Hood, Double 1, Bez Kaucije, Crno-Bela Veza and Jedva Smo Se Skupili came into being all together starting the first Hip Hop scene in Serbia and Ex Yugoslavia.

First wave

The music spread slowly until 1995, until Da li imaš pravo? by Gru was released, marking the beginning of the first wave of Serbian hip hop, which reached its peak in 1997-98, when many new groups started to break out from the underground: CYA, Ila, Voodoo Popeye, Sunshine, Bad Copy and first horror rap underground group in Serbia Sekcija Mraka. Monteniggers, from Montenegro (at the time in a union with Serbia),were another popular rap group. Just as the scene was taking off, the flood of new talent slowed to a trickle, probably due to the economic effects of the Kosovo War of 1999, which resulted in only a few hip hop albums released in 1999-2001.

Second wave

In 2002 the silence was shown to be temporary with the founding of the Bassivity label, which made Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian hip hop widely available in record stores. Their first release, V.I.P. - Ekipa Stigla, was one of the two albums which marked the beginning of the second wave of Serbian hip hop. The other was BSSST...Tišinčina by the Belgrade group Beogradski sindikat. The same group also released the highly controversial political single Govedina in late 2002, which greatly aided the popularisation of hip hop in Serbia.

In 2003 Marčelo's debut album De Facto, also released on the Bassivity label, came out to both public and critical acclaim and he was branded as the voice of a new generation. In 2004 CYA's fourth album Bolje Vreme was released on the BK Records and it was one of the best Serbian album ever.

Since then, Bassivity Music has released a couple more records before their transformation to a production company in 2007. Beogradski sindikat have followed up their debut with 2005's Svi zajedno, having founded their own label, Prohibicija, due to their dissatisfaction with Automatik Records. Despite the success of his debut album, Marčelo was unable to settle his differences with Bassivity label, and at the end of 2005, appropriately marking the end of the second wave, released his second album Puzzle Shock! (Multimedia Records).

Since 2007, the oldest independent label in Serbia, Take It Or Leave It records (established 1992), and their sub-label Rap Cartel released almost every rap album during this time. First rap CD published by Rap Cartel was a compilation "Rap Cartel-Pablo je pao vol.1" Main rap singers known and published by Rap Cartel label are :SHA, Bata Barata ex Shorty, Monogamija, Bitcharke na travi, Bvana iz lagune, Hartmann, J COOK, M.A.X., Prti Beegee, De Niro, VOX and many less known artists. This label also published first licence album from America, CD HAVIKK-Rhymme son (South Central cartel).

Some other notable rappers from the second wave are Struka, Don Trialeon, Seven, Beton liga, Demonio, Lud, Kajblo Spirit, Suid, Tripe-r and Nidza Bleja.

Third wave

Third wave is starting of RnB in Serbia in 2006. Third wave artist such as Elitni odredi, Cvija or Rasta arrived to the scene as soon as the Bassivity era was over. They stand for more commercialized kind of hip hop than their "ancestors", kids like what they're doing and some of their hits like Samo Da Si Samnom (Elitni odredi), Moja Želja Si Ti (Cvija) and Superstar (Rasta) have become clubbing classics throughout cities in Serbia.

But there is also a new wave of rap as some would say real rap or hip hop that is more intelligent, more about real life and about growing up on the streets or about political themes that is becoming more and more popular and can be heard on every street or any city in Serbia. Some of them are Marlon Brutal (New wave of street rap) with hits such as "Favela", "Blok Sajmište", "Brate mnogo variš" and "Beli rep", F4 (Škabo (BS), Marlon Brutal, Dj Iron (BS) and Žobla) with hits such as "Rep i Grad" and "Bejbe Bejbe", THC (Stefan and Borko, New wave of street rap with hits such as "Trenerka Stil" and "Radi Šta Te Plaća",Sick Touch (New wave of street rap) with hits such as "Ma Da!", "Prepoznaj", "Sa bolesne strane grada" and "Uživam u Radu", Sale Tru who is known for bringing back G Funk with hits such as "U Kraju", "Chill Sine", "Tralalala" and "Ic ol gud Bejbe Bejbe", One Shot (Rolex, Mali Mire and Zli Toni) (New wave of street rap) with hits such as "Air max i 20 eura", "Problem" and "Sve vaše nove fore moje su stare ustvari" and they are making a change in Serbian Hip Hop similar as the first wave, they are breaking from underground and becoming popular not just in Serbia but in the whole Balkan region.

In this third wave we have one new record label started by some underground artists, Ltdfm Music (Live To Die For My Music) launched to help artists to record and publish their own work. With professional music studio, video production and event team this label has the potential to emerge as the leading story of Serbian Hip Hop Culture. Under this label are next group and artists Biro (Stiven Drama, Code, Choda, Coa), KG Odred (Shot, Smokee, Princip, Aprill O'Neal, Fettus, Verbal, Dj Sajlent), Lider, 2Bad (Van, Fat Nack), Mlata (SickTouch), Choda Optimus (SickTouch), Sale RDZ (SickTouch), Bad Voice, Aliana, Zhozi Zho, Twokey, Smoke Mardeljano, Coa DNK, L.I.F.E. Long (NY-USA).

Fourth wave

With the original hiphop sound change in the world it also helped opened the doors for many artists. Around 2012 a lot of new rappers started using auto tune. In 2014 there is a new invasion of trap music. Some rappers that are known for using this kind of style are Fox, Mimi Mercedez, Araft, Ziplok, Žuti, Kurtoazija...

Diaspora Artists

North America

In the late 90's many Serbs emigrated to Canada and the United States. Being influenced by the hip hop scene back home, and the one in their new home, some started to create their own music. The first act to gain fans was Illuminati X (Then known as Street Team and sometimes Balkan Beasts) Illuminati X took samples from back home and created modern beats. They released their debut mixtape in 2005 called Balkan Beasts Vol.1 that also featured Serbian-Canadian, London based rapper, Crood, and an American-Bosnian group from St.Louis called Checkmate Crew, which sold thousands of copies throughout Southern Ontario. Illuminati X released their debut album in the summer of 2009 during Vidovdan Serb Fest in Niagara Falls, Ontario, This album was a free give away and hundreds of CDs were shipped to Serbs in Kosovo. In total thousands of CDs were given out for free, and another 6000 were downloaded. Illuminati X has also opened for such acts as Da Band's Chopper Young City, Jadakiss, Danny Fernandes, Karl Wolf, and Saukrates, as well as large Serbian acts such as Beogradski Sindikat, and V.I.P. Following Illuminati X came Filip Filipi, formally known as Sin. Filip released his first mixtape called, DJ Vlad Presents: Mixtape Vol. 1 which sold over 12,000 units independently in 2005 and is still the highest selling Canadian mixtape ever. Sin rose to success shortly after working with many Serbian artists, and also American ones such as Tom Gist, Cam'Ron, Jay Bezel, Lil' Wayne, and Gucci Mane. His hit single Boom feat. T-Pain was chosen for the Top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance?, which in total had over 14 million viewers worldwide.

Western Europe

There are many established Serbian rappers hailing from the Serb communities in Austria, Germany, and Sweden. One of the most famous, Toni der Assi, hails from Munich and often raps in the Serbian language and about topics concerning Serbian politics and society. In Vienna, "Ortaks", a rap group made up of young Serbian youths, has grown in popularity within the German hip hop scene, playing shows in Vienna and Zurich, Switzerland. The group is characterized by its incorporation of Serbian slang in their songs, and an anti-NATO political stance.


Hip hop was very well spreed among the media thanks to mostly artist that were and still active in Serbian to bring the culture to its people. At one point there was one radio show every day per week and 3 TV shows per week.

One of the most famous radio stations that had the most hip-hop shows was Radio 107.9 S.K.C. (Student Cultural Center) .This same radio helped jumped many artist carers. Radio Skc was shut down in 2006. All the hosts worked for free and each show has its formula.

Radio SKC 107.9

Radio SKC was an urban radio station and the home for the mayor radio hiphop shows.Radio SKC was a very small two floor house.Some rooms was used for studio for people like Marko Nastić , Bad Copy and Shazalakazoo.

Sindikalni Termin, Sunday 21:00-23:00 Radio SKC 107.9

Over the years this show has changed its formula.In the beginning all the Beogradski Sindikat members used to host it (9 members).

There approach was to joke around around in the beginning with made up scenarios with there call up listeners but after the first year the formula changed.

In the 2nd year only Škabo hosted it.In the 3rd year Edesi members hosted it since Škabo had to do army time for 1 year.

In the last year it was Škabo again but with a lower ratings since the show wasn't like it was when it started. Sindikalni Termin most known to play demo and have demo artist as guests.

Škola, Wednesday 17:00-19:00 Radio SKC 107.9

2002-2006 Originally this spot time was with Timbe. At one point Timbe was very busy and let Trial host it since he also filed in for Sindikalini Termin few times and for Ekipa Stigla show at b92. He substituted for around 4 shows where Timbe decided to let him continue his work and formula.

Škola show was a place for people to get educated about hiphop. It never played any songs twice in the 4 years period unless it was the summer period (60 days). No demo artist was allowed at his show,releasing an album in Serbia and Montenegro was the only way to get to be a guest on his show.

The show had a few artist to guest like: Rza, Guru, Jungle Brothers, Sole (hip hop artist),L Rock...and over 30 artist from Serbia and Montenegro.

Škola also prepared an mixtape with freestyles from all its guests that was recorded off air.The mixtape was never released but Don Trialeon said he will releas it at year 2026 (20 years since the shut down of radio skc). The show aired until radio skc was closed down.

Timbetovo vece, KiK Het Sner, Ručkak sa Timetom....Radio SKC 107.9

Timbe used to hang around a lot at Radio SKC,also the Bad Copy studio was in one of the rooms at the SKC,so Timbe had a lot of radio shows over the years.Most of his radio shows was on air for few months.


There was few TV shows that played hip hop video and interviewed local Serbian artists.

Reprezent,3 Kanal,Once A Week

2001-2003 Reprezent was a TV show hosted by Deda ( Marko Đurić ) Deda is a member of Beogradski Sindikat. His focus was on the local scene and on the French and American underground scene. He also got to interview Das EFX and Guru (rapper).


Over the years Serbia had many Hip Hop festivals. Most of this festivals wore summer festivals which would go on for few days.

Many festivals never got to see the 2nd year due to the fact that the organizers could find a sponsor to finance their festival.

Svi Kao Jedan

Svi Kao jedan festival started at 2011 and its been going for 4 years. It is a summer festival which would go on for few days in Belgrade.

Till now it had over 300 local artis as well as American artist like : Onyx, Afu-Ra, Kurtis Blow, DJ Tomekk ...

Obrenovac is a Serbian town which suffered the greatest damage by the unprecedented floods in May 2014. Most of the population has been evacuated to safety. At June 2014 Svi Kao Jedan was a one-day Festival,but it was humanitarian concert with around 20 artists razing money for Obrenovac.


Serbia had many clubs over its life time that played hiphop/rnb and many are still active.

Rnb Sunday , Sunday

Started at 2004,Rnb Sunday,in the beginning was a place that played strictly rnb, rap, hiphop. It still plays the same but with new sounds like trap and snap. At 2008 Montell Jordan did a show at their party. Deejay Playa is the local dj resident at the party since the beginning. Dj Architect joined at 2012.

Friday Swag , Friday

Started at 2011. The local dj resident are Dj Rokam and Dj Laki. Both djs have released a few street mixtapes. At 2013 Termanology and Lil' Fame did a show at their party.

Vatra , Once a Month

Started at 2011 Vatra is a 4-man dj team that play hiphop,rap,trap once a month at a different venue every time. For their four-year birthday party AraabMuzik did a show at their party.

See also


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