Fuat: the Godfather of Turkish Rap
Fuat is one of the most important MC's in Turkey and he's also an activist and an educator. I met him several times while I was visiting Istanbul. This "interview" started in 2010 but we had chance to finalize that only the last time we met, some days ago.
[N] - You were born in Berlin in 1972. How was life there in 70s and the 80s?
[F] - There was spy games and all that because of the cold war between USSR and USA. The wall… But i was too young too catch all of this… It were difficult for foreigners at some points. Mom and dad always talked about goin back to Turkiye and ı was homesick too… We lived in Kreuzberg.. Its a area where the Turkish people are gathered by the German government back then. We also lived next to hippies and punks it was really entrusting back then… Just a small part of the German citizens were socializing with the guest workers and this is a important point. I mean.. As a Turk you have to speak German language properly to understand the german culture and the people… Ethic views are so far from each other at certain points its hard to getting connected. So the 70s and 80s was a time everybody worked hard to back in the end with a stash of money. So you can set things in your homeland to be happy tip death knocks on ya door… 1983-84 was the time period were over 200.000 families turned back to Türkiye. The German government paid 10000 Deutsch mark each family to support it. We went back august 1984. Germany left a bitter flavor in my soul because of graffitis like ”AUSLAENDER RAUS” ("foreigners go away", ndt)… I was so happy back then… Suddenly home at the Black Sea coast 60 km north-east of Istanbul.
[N] - Why did you start to rap? What was the very first thing that pushed you to write your own lyrics?
1991 was my first attempt. But i met Hip Hop 1988 through a friend who came along from Münich… He had vinyl tapes, Kangol hats, fake gold chains... AHAH! [laughs, ndr]. Run Dmc, LL Cool J, 2live Crew, Ice T, Doug E Fresh and Whatnot… Kubilay my best friend infected me with the most positive contagious music that changed my way of thinking and made to what i am now. Gratitude Kubilay my dear homeboy. I wanted to express myself. Rise my knowledge and understand whats happening around me. I wanted to understand and share it to people and find same thinking heads… To find love and respect to upgrade myself… Thats why i write lyrics.
[N] - What are some of the best moments in your Hip Hop life ever?
Heltah Skeltah "Nocturnal" album release back in 1996, 1991 Ice T's Berlin Metropol concert, 1991 Organized Konfusion's album release, my first official tour with Souls of Mischief, Swollen Members, Dj Hype and Kool Savaş back in 1999...
My first tape “Hassickdir” release in 1999… These are some of many magnificent moments.
[N] - You have been doing rap workshops for kids in Berlin. Have you ever did some workshop also in Turkey?
Yes, I am doing rap workshops here in Türkiye… From the social pedagogic aspect its a very good thing to do with kids and young folks. Basics of my rap workshop are: love learning tip your last breath. Raise your word vault. Express yourself elite. Find new ways and sentences to describe everything. Learn at least 2 languages. Be interested in science nature and the mighty universe.
[N] - How do you feel as a teacher? What are the most important aspects you try to pass to the youngsters?
Hold the mic properly … Write songs that you can perform on stage… Open your mind and radar systems… You can feel all the universe.
[N] - You're also fond of scuba diving. Could you try do describe how's this passion to someone who's never been to the seaside?
I am a free diver. Spearfish hunting. I also can scuba diving but its too dangerous. Hunting is something different… I'll never shoot birds or deer but spearfishing i do since I’m 11 years old. The best point is too swim around searching for a good spot to cross the fish to watch everything down there… Hearing the clams making noise… The dance of the algs and all that… Escape from the stress of people created on this great planet… Fuck your technology and electricity and all of it… You must know how to survive without all of this crap… Learn how to find clean water for drink, which roots u can eat or mushrooms for example. The planet is god… We have to know about it.
[N] - What are your musical projects for the future?
New album… Some film music, more rap workshops and getting old with my wife and 3 cats! [laughs, ndr].