You can count on Don Martin. Ever since the early 1990s he has been a key figure in Norwegian hip-hop, especially in the capital city. Not only as a rapper, but also as a writer, radio host, DJ, producer and graffiti artist.
His major breakthrough was in 2013, with the first chapter in the album trilogy about his hometown of Oslo. «En gang romsåsgutt alltid romsåsgutt» – a tribute to Romsås, the suburb overlooking the city’s east end – is produced by rap guru Tommy Tee and won the Norwegian Grammy in the Urban category. Followed up with two critically acclaimed albums, Don Martin affirmed that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Before his solo career accelerated, the fedora-clad rapper had great success in the legendary Gatas Parliament. In the left-wing group – the Norwegian middle class’ version of Public Enemy – he began as a producer and DJ, but eventually became a fully flegded member behind the microphone. Don Martin clearly has a lot of opinions, both politically and musically, which is also heard in his long-lasting radio show Goodshit Radio.
In other words, Don Martin knows way more about hip hop, both locally and globally, than we do. During this year’s festival, he will therefore curate an entire evening at Blå, with guests such as Ezzari (NO) and Tumi (SA). It’s going to be be one for the books.
Text: Kim Klev