A 4-man rap group
. Enjoying a a fairly big cult following
despite being officially formed as late as fall 2000
- Setä Koponen
- born in 1978
- currently studying to get his degree in economics
- Johnny Frisco
- Mentioned on their EP, no information available
The group states their influences
include De La Soul
and numerous NYC
MC Taakibörsta's roots are in Olari
. Along with most of the local kids their age, Kehäkettu and Setä Koponen got interested in skating
and hip hop
in the late 80s
. A few years later they met Davo, an older and more skilled skater, who had competed the United States
among other things.
The Finnish hip hop scene was extremely quiet in the early 90s, as the original artists such as Damn the Band were quiet and the pop rap trend started by Raptor had (fortunately) faded. Around 1994 things started to look a bit better, as people like DJ Anonymous - also known as Sampo - emerged. Davo was with Sampo organizing the Funk the World party, which later on became Worldwide, the most successful monthly hip hop club in Finland's history.
Meanwhile, Kehäkettu (who was known as Harakiri in the early days) and Setä Koponen were involved in numerous underground rap productions using the Finnish language, along with the tight group of of close friends like Raimo and Ässä. The tapes were only spread to 20-30 people if spread at all, and they weren't too serious or high quality. Still, the basics of Olari hip hop can already be seen in these rudimentary tracks: more or less honest portrayals of booze-filled nights at the notorious Olari mall, with a lot of attitude.
The amount of Finnish hip hop releases started picking up in 1998. Disappointed in the quality, which was "horrific shit" according to Kehäkettu, the trio decided they should do something. After pondering for over a year, most of which was apparently spent by sitting in the Olari posse's regular bar Jump In, recording finally went underway. It took 6 months to complete the self-released 5-track Kehäkettu ja Setä Koponen EP, which was finally released in the year 2000. The three guys were joined by the legendary DJ Didier, who produced most of the tracks. The MCing side also featured Tuomio and Kone, old friends from the Olari posse.
The EP became an almost instant cult classic, and as much as a commercial success as it could be. That is, the 1500 copies were sold out and the record has been unofficially declared the best selling Finnish author's edition release of 2000. The EP follows a fairly simple recipe: simple punchy backgrounds and relentless verbal assault without any chorus lines or other unnecessary elements. A video of the track PL 2000 was also released, and was subsequently voted the best Finnish hip hop video in several web polls. An another track, Tuu Lusiin Mun Punkkaan caused some negative reactions from members of the female audience, who thought the tongue-in-cheek chauvinistic lyrics were meant to be taken seriously.
At this time, the country was in the middle of the biggest commercial hip hop trend yet witnessed. Major record labels were more open to this kind of music than ever, and soon Kehäkettu and Koponen were offered a deal by the Megamania sublabel of Johanna, a longtime finnish record publisher. Davo, who had only "featured" on the fist EP, was taken along as a member of the group and MC Taakibörsta was born.
After a long wait, the new EP PA 2001 was released in May 2001. It continued the path set in their first release, featured backgrounds by Davo himself, along with a reworked version of an old underground Raimo track Riskei On Otettava. Although the sales figures weren't really stellar - which would've been surprising considering the marketing was still more or less non-existent - the EP has apparently done well enough. Late summer, a video for the title track saw the light of day. Shooting for 50 hours and claiming to have spent most of the money on beer and weed, the group really overdid themselves. The video, which contains excessive masturbation, failed attempts to get women into bed and other non-standard rap video material, has been generally received extremely positive comments from everybody with a sense of humor.
Sadly, the release of the first full-length MC Taakibörsta has been delayed several times, the reason for this apparently being the group preferring creating a quality release over hurrying an unfinished product into the market. The album was originally supposed to be released in summer 2001, from which it was delayed to December. The latest word from Olari posse's T-Murha states that they are currently aiming for a February 2002 release. Featured artists are said to include DJ Anonymous and the Swedish DJ Prao-D.
Apart from the recordings, MC Taakibörsta has also performed live in several events including the Koneisto festival in Turku. They are also in process of starting their own independent label V.Edätys, but no further information about that project is currently available. Despite being signed by a commercial label, the trio still does a lot of their work in Davo's home studio.
The Taakibörsta guys are also known for spreading their local (and individual) slang terms to a greater audience. The group's name doesn't really mean anything in "real" Finnish, but in their dialect it stands for something like "l337 b33r". Go figure. The group's language has always been Finnish, although Davo has done some solo MC work in English in the past.
So, what sets MC Taakibörsta apart from the average Finnish hip hop act? As the amount of mainstream
rap artists in Finland has exploded in the last few years, the scene seems to be divided into two extremes: the first one being white middle-class suburban boys
trying to pass themselves off as bad-ass gangstas
from the ghetto
and imitating US
artists. On the other end there are intellectual philosophers, who concentrate on their lyrics. But these three guys don't fit into either category. Although their lyrics deal with not-so-deep
subjects like girls
, getting drunk
and being the best hip hop act there is, they are honest and don't take themselves too seriously. Of course having Davo, one of the most skilled Finnish MC ever on board doesn't hurt either.
Not a cut'n'paste writeup.
Sources include interviews in Posse magazine, suomihiphop.com and Soundi, official press material from Megamania and TV appearances.
Finnish speaking people might want to check http://www.eskolaah.org/mctaakiborsta/haastis/011119-posse_01-2001.php