De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig’s Faberyayo tells all
In the year-end issue of the Phoenix, I listed my five favorite Dutch rap tracks of 2010. Number two was "Sterrenstof," by a group called De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig (loose translation: Kids These Days). DJVT are perhaps best known for their international hit "Watskeburt," and for being the only Dutch rap group to show up in Lil Wayne's The Carter DVD — an incredulous Weezy, on tour in the Netherlands, turns on the TV to find DJVT member Vieze Freddy wearing a Lil Wayne shirt. In the number-one spot was "Uniform," a fantastic solo track by DJVT member Pepijn Lanen, a/k/a Faberyayo.
Much as I love these tracks, I pretty much have no idea what they're about, or why Dutch rap is so uncannily rad. I tracked down Faberyayo to help us demystify his strange world, where beefs are few and they have their own word for thizz.
Dutch rap is awesome. Why the fuck is it so much better than other Euro-rap?
Haha, I really would not put it that way. Personally, I don't really listen to a whole lot of Euro-rap, other than maybe stuff from the UK. I think it's pretty contained to each country because of language barriers and all that. Everybody just does what they do.
How'd you get into the rap game? Were you more influenced by American rappers or by fellow Dutchmen?
Well, I started out listening to Public Enemy and Ice Cube and N.W.A because that was what my older brother put me onto when I was around six or seven. Then later on, there was a song called "Spraakwater" by Extince which really blew my mind. There had been rap in Dutch before, but this really made me realize that Dutch rap could really work as something uniquely Dutch.
If Americans want to get into Dutch hip-hop, where should they start?
That's a really hard question. Even within our tiny scene, there's a whole bunch of different people doing a whole bunch of different things. There's an obvious divide between more underground stuff rooted in the traditional US East Coast sound (though it has evolved quite a lot) and then there's the more electronic-influenced stuff, and then there's the blatant commercial stuff, too. I would say, start looking for DuvelDuvel's Apotheek, Sjaak's Sjaakmat, and De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig's De Lachende Derde (of course).
Got any favorite Dutch slang that Americans should get hip to?
Right now, I'm very big on "housenoterzzz" or "noterzzz" for short, meaning disco biscuits.
Do beefs work the same way over there? Are there any other Dutch rappers you just fucking hate? You can tell us, since nobody over there will ever read this.
It's entirely different; the scene is real small, so everybody knows everybody, and you'll run into people no matter what. It just doesn't pay to get into that sort of negative energy. There's friction, of course, but in the end, people don't really bother.
Were you aware that DJVT pop up in the first few minutes of Lil Wayne's TheCarter DVD?
Yeah, that was pretty crazy. It's a hoax, though, because somebody must have told him. He says Freddy is wearing a shirt with his face, but he never could have known that without somebody telling him.