Monday, September 10, 2012


Maybe it's really ignorant of me, but I typically don't ever think about rap music and Europe in the same thought line. Europe and Denmark seem much too cultured to indulge in beat-dropping, booty-popping party anthems. When I think of European music, I tend to think of house, club and dance music before rap or hip-hop (Avicii is Swedish, after all). I definitely consider my taste in music to be eclectic; my favorite band is The Goo Goo Dolls but despite my clean cut appearance I have a serious and not-so-secret love for really bad rap music. Think Pitbull circa 2007. I can rap all the words including the profane Spanish verses.

When my housemates started playing this song, I was surprised to learn that it was a Danish rapper. Rap has always struck me as very American but I can't stop listening to this.

(fist-pumping here is more like palm-flapping)

It sounds strange, but I don't always consider my life in Denver and DC to be of a specific culture. To me, "culture" connotes something outside my sense of normalcy, something foreign or different. American culture doesn't really register in my mind as being anything other than normal. The more time I spend talking with Danes and getting to know a new city the more I'm encountering habits and norms that others deem as "American culture" even though I don't see them as being anything special.

One of my teachers laughed when I explained what s'mores are. Skippy peanut butter is twice as expensive as the Danish brand which features the Statue of Liberty on the label. American flags are plastered on jean pockets and cellphone cases much the same way we use the British flag to be iconic and trendy. To the Danes, American culture is strange and foreign even though I've never considered it to be all that unique.

There's plenty of talk about how different studying abroad is from being home in the states. It's true; I could write for hours about all that I've encountered so far. What I'm realizing though is that it's just as beneficial to look for similarities as it is to seek out differences. Finding a Danish rap song made me smile and reminded me of the ridiculous music I love from back home. American culture might actually be a thing, but it's a pretty small world and there's always common ground to be found...even if that ground is a dance floor.

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