Nura: “I couldn’t make non-political music anymore”
In his new column, 18-year-old book blogger Josia Jourdan writes about queer diversity. Via Zoom he spoke to the German rapper Nura about the clear statements on her current album.
“Then the straight people ask me, do you like boys or girls? (…) I fuck both of them, but I won’t tell you. ” That is what the German rap artist Nura raps on her new album “Auf der Suche”. The entire album is a statement for diversity and tolerance. Usually, however, Deutschrap is just the opposite. Misogynist lyrics and homophobia are at least as common in the genre as broken hearts in pop music. It’s more moderate in the Basel German rap scene. Again, a lot of explicit language is used, but apart from a few songs, misogyny and queerophobia are limited.
Rap has always been more extreme, explicit and unfiltered than other genres, and yet in recent years there have been increasing debates about what rap is allowed to do and why homophobia, sexism and discrimination in general are still so widespread. Do you need it? Is that art? Why do people have to be discriminated against? And above all: why is it celebrated by millions of people?
While rapper DaBaby has to take a lot of criticism in the USA and festival appearances are canceled after he has expressed himself hostile to homosexuals, queer-hostile songs are still being published in the German-speaking scene and artists are being celebrated who draw attention to themselves with misogynistic remarks. A change is slowly noticeable, as the Deutschrap-MeToo movement proved two months ago. But there is still a lot to be done.
Nura therefore sends a clear message with her second record. «In Search» is a political album. From racism to sexism to LGBTQ +, Nura wants to address what is important to her. There is also room for tolerance, self-determination and pro-sex work.
“I’ve always been political on social media, but my music has been about partying for far too long. I wanted to change that with this album, ”she says when I talked to her about Zoom. Still, the album is not consistently serious. Nura takes topics that are important to her and then breaks them down in such a way that everyone can understand. It often goes in the sarcastic direction and with the unfiltered choice of words at the same time so directly that Nura’s viewpoints are clarified.
Collaborations with political artists
“I couldn’t make non-political music any more,” she says in an interview. For Nura it is clear: Anyone who can say that they are apolitical is incredibly privileged. As a black, bisexual woman, she has to be political. There is still too much injustice in this world. In the future, she would therefore only like to collaborate with artists who represent their political views. She can therefore also be heard on the new album by the left-wing rapper Disarstar, who campaigns against xenophobia and capitalism.
Even if successful artists like Nura are important for the development because they show what a tolerant and diverse form of this art can look like, in the end the development of the German-speaking rap scene is also related to what we consume and to whom we give a voice. As long as we accept that there is discrimination, little will change. Rap remains the genre of extremes. And the discussion of what is allowed and what is not will continue in the future. We have a major say in who we listen to.
Josia Jourdan presents a monthly book in his queer book club “Das Pinke Sofa”. More information on Instagram @daspinkesofa.