Javanese songs performed in contemporary ways would reserve a special spot in the hearts of the youth.
Traditional Javanese songs and rap, apparently they get along. Still considered controversial, it was performed in front of tens of thousands audience who followed the plenary session of the Regional People’s Representative Council of the Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta), when the people showed their support for the establishment of Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and Paku Alam as the Governor and Deputy Governor of DIY. As though “a national anthem”, the audience was singing together.
Jogja Jogja stays exceptional
Special country special people
Jogja jogja stays exceptional
Exceptional Jogja privileged to Indonesia
The tune Ki Jarto sung gained momentum when the political issue of Yogyakarta as special region was on the rise. Today, although the controversy has worn off, people still play the rap-genre song frequently.
Kill the DJ
Ki Jarot is not a person’s name. It is an amalgam of three names: Mohammad Marzuki, Jahanam, and Rotra. These musicians are part of Jogja Hip Hop Foundation, a forum for Hip Hop communities in Yogyakarta who sing traditional Javanese tunes in rap.
The Javanese Hip Hop popularity received a direct influence from the efforts of Mohammad Marzuki—warmly known as Kill the DJ. Born in Prambanan, February 21, 1975, the man was the pioneer of Javanese Hip Hop. His maneuvers began in 2003 when he formed the community of Jogja Hip Hop Foundation.
Javanese Hip Hop community in Yogyakarta has been growing since the 1990’s. One of its prominent figures was the G-Tribe with their hits “Jelangkung” and “Menek Jambe”. Then Jahanam, another group, was born in 2003 and they received the spotlight with their song “Tumini”.
The Javanese Hip Hop then returned to life on the stage of Poetry Battle in 2006 and in 2009. It was a competition to sing Indonesian poetry in rap. It had prompted the youth to explore old poems that people had barely noticed. (Singgir Kartana & Sandipras)