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Six Artists from the Icelandic hip hop scene to see at Airwaves

01 November 2016, 08:39

Want to get a feel for the developing hip hop scene in Iceland?

Here's our guide to seven amazing artists playing the official Airwaves line-up this week in Reykjaviík.

GKR by Jason Williamson


Equal parts surrealism, tomfoolery and invention, GKR is the Prince Regent of Icelandic hip-hop, pushing his own unique performance and sound towards a place very different to much of the Icelandic hip-hop scene. His Hendrix at Monterey moment sees him throw miniature packets of cereal to the audience but it’s his surreal swagger that wins over the language barriers.

GKR plays Harpa Silfurberg on Wednesday 2 November and Húrra on Friday 4 November.

Ulfur Ulfur By Jason Williamson

Úlfur Úlfur

Still riding high on their amazing Brennum Allt (“Let’s burn it all”) and the accompanying video, wise hip hop duo Úlfur Úlfur (“Wolf Wolf”) - aka Helgi and Arnar - remain one of the scene’s most entertaining partnerships. With gutsy and frantic verse, they balance lyrical intelligence with a proletariat approach.

Úlfur Úlfur play NASA on Thursday 3 November and The Line of Best Fit stage at Valshöllen on Saturday 5 November, as well as a Best Fit showcase at Loft on 3 November.

Emmsje Gauti by Jason Williiamson

Emmsjé Gauti

As close to a veteran as you can get in the Icelandic rap scene, Emmsjé Gauti’s been performing for the last 13 years and has a skilled flow and alluring cadence very much of his own. Bizarrely, he’s also a TV personality and the host of Iceland’s Got Talent!

Emmsjé Gauti plays Harpa Silfurberg on Wednesday 2 November and NASA on Friday 4 November.

Sturla Atlas by Jason Williamson

Sturla Atlas

A relative newcomer to the Icelandic scene, Sturla Atlas dropped a debut mixtape just over a year back but was a hit at last year’s Airwaves. With his 101 crew - named downtown Reykjavík’s postcode - Atlas has cut has an impressive figure, even playing shows in the UK recently.

Sturla Atlas plays Harpa Silfurberg on Wednesday 2 November and NASA on Friday 4 November.



The sixteen-strong Reykjavíkurdætur (“The daughters of Reykjavík”) have been a highlight of the last two Airwaves - there’s simply nothing quite like them in music right now and this has led to the collective taking much of the focus in overseas coverage of Icelandic hip-hop. Check them out but don’t miss spin-off projects like Cyber, who play a Best Fit showcase -at Loft on Thursday 3 November.

Reykjavíkurdætur play Harpa Silfurberg on Wednesday 2 November and again on Friday 4 November.

Shades of Reykhjvik by Jason Williamson

Shades of Reykjavík

Espousing a dark take on hip hop, this anomalous collective has been around since the start of the decade. Onstage antics include live tattooing for the audience but it's the music that really pops: affecting, dramatic and singular.

Shades of Reykjavík play Hurra on Friday 4 November.

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