"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sweden's Hope

I have some very good news; Sweden has ceased to be a cultural and economic backwater of absolutely no significance to humanity and the wider world.


Well, because someone called Adam Tensta is a rising hip-hop star; he is from Sweden, and he has what are described as 'bright musical prospects'.

Obviously I am being sarcastic; sadly the person who wrote this article for 'The Local' is not, however:

Adam Tensta, one of Sweden’s hottest hip-hop artists, has just returned from an intense 12 days in Los Angeles, California, where he performed at legendary clubs like The Viper Room and The Roxy Theatre. “We killed the shows,” says Tensta. He means it went great. Things are definitely on the up and up for the 25-year-old, whose music is a pretty fast and danceable blend of socially conscious hip-hop lyrics and an electro/house sound. Since his first single “They Wanna Know” caught national attention in 2007, he won a Grammis (Swedish Grammy) for best Dance/Hip Hop/Soul album, he has done more than 300 shows and performed in three continents. Last summer he opened for Jay-Z and performed at Allsång På Skansen, a hugely popular Swedish sing-along fest.

Growing up the son of a Swedish-Finnish single-mom and a heroin addicted and absent father from Gambia, Tensta decided to not let his life become any more stereotyped. At an early age he decided that drinking, smoking cigarettes and doing drugs were not for him. Though he doesn’t want impose his beliefs on other people, he says he’s happy if he is a role model and an inspiration to young people. Growing up in one of Sweden’s projects might not be as tough as those in America, Tensta says, but it’s still no cake walk. His peers didn’t get brand new cars for graduation present like some teens did in the more affluent areas of Stockholm, a 17-minute metro-ride from Tensta, he says.

Though he has his focus on an international career, Tensta says he might end up doing three albums tops. Then he’s got another project, which he refuses to reveal, planned.“I hope people will say something like, ‘He’s so multi-faceted this Adam Tensta guy, it’s hard to get sick of him,’” Tensta says of himself in third person. “He’s evolving, he is so much more than just a musician.”

Yes, it's like a modern day fairytale, isn't it? A multicultural one - the best kind.

The article actively promotes the idea that Swedes, a people who have achieved an awful lot given the relatively small size of their population, now owe their success and international reputation to how successful the 'New Swedes' are.

The idea that someone from a housing project making bad music which glamorises everything that is currently wrong with Western civilisation constitutes success is laughable; but that is the world we now live in.

Sadly, judging by the comments, it seems that Tensta's success isn't even particularly well deserved; it's just another way of patronising those of immigrant descent and making liberal Westerners feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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