The temptation to portray yourself as a sophisticated know it all of the festival circuit has led many to pen list upon list of the least known, but obviously most exciting acts to grace a particular event- although the season now draws to a close, rosters are still born uncovering the hidden gems of the summer’s last festivals. I confess to having lived with such a temptation in the run up to Sziget, but finally decided against it, because truth be said, you’ll usually end up with a list of things which were less known to you, out of all people, and might have otherwise been very familiar to many.
Wikipedia’s English version is however also confused on the artist who landed at number four on the best of concert list, and feels that Ceza’s notability might need to be verified, as if the highly esteemed online resource would find it hard to get its head around the concept of Turkish rappers and what to do with them. I would say listen to them- for a start.
I would even go as far as to introduce the Ceza rule as a general test: take a person who does not speak the language of the rapper, have them listen to a relevant batch of songs and ask them whether they can still enjoy it and consider it a valuable musical output. If they do, the rapper in case has to be doing something right. It was this momentous discovery that made me realize why I have always strongly disliked Eminem’s music: there is something hysterical and overbearing in the way he shouts and enunciates his various pain points over the music, which every so often is but a meagre chorus sung by some angelic female voice. Like that moment when he rants about tornadoes and volcanoes and you go, okay, just a few more seconds and the suddenly decidedly lovely Rihanna will chime in, yay.
But enough about those irrelevant to our present discourse (though really, Eminem on the main stage, one of us would have the opportunity to have the mother of all rants, we just have to find out who), Ceza’s Europa Stage concert had a pretty spectacular crowd- the hardcore nucleus was of course formed by Turkish fans, with whom Sziget has been becoming increasingly popular, but as the evening wore on, ever more people decided to stop and join in because they simply enjoyed the music- coming back to the Ceza rule, the most frequent remark was that they do not understand a word and only came for the food (the Mexkitchen stand next to the Europa Stage was pretty sweet, indeed), but his sounds awesome nevertheless.
I for one went for Ceza specifically (okay, I knew the stand was there as well), since I’d listened to him previously after he was featured in Fatih Akın’s documentary Crossing the Bridge: The Sounds of Istanbuland although I did expect the show to be enjoyable, I did not count on it being quite this good. There’s always a Sziget concert with a slightly undefinable elemental energy that gives you that stupidish grin of this is it and I am so glad it’s happening to me.
I still have no inkling of what the man is saying, or, more precisely, I have been informed on the general outline of his topics but will not be able identify them on the go, but he sure as hell delivers it all as if his life depended on it. It might be my proverbial weak mindedness taking the stage yet again, but I still love a good melody with a good chorus, and Ceza delivers on the level as well, which is probably very necessary for that kind of appeal which transcends the borders of language to which rappers are bound to a certain level. So yes, Wikipedia, this was notable, thank you very much.