Hip-hop "gipsy" to represent the Czech Republic at Eurovision

Interesting developments in Romani music today as Czech rapper Gipsy.cz has been chosen to represent the country at this year's Eurovision song contest (h/t ESC Today).

In some ways, this guy is rather divorced from the potentially similar scenes of chalga and manele, whose respective Eurovision histories are interesting and revelatory enough in themselves (chalga represented once already, manele systematically excluded from national finals). Compared to those genres' working class, scenius unity, Gipsy is considerably more world music in outlook and his music can be rather haphazard in its wild leaps along the modern-"traditional" scale. Still, I think that it's an interesting and inclusive choice at a time when the oppression of the Roma is unusually high, although it might just confirm the traditional cast(e)ing and acceptance of the Roma as entertainers. Apparently, the performer is highly popular among the Czechs.

The actual track has not been revealed yet, but here's his entry from last year's national contest and from 2007's, plus a few of the more successfully hip-hoppy tracks he's released. Not bad, all in all!

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