Haiyti pop is full of contradictions. From Chanel to Gansterrap, the 26-year-old rapper from Hamburg plows all the stops of glamour.
Are these the tiles from the house in Ibiza? Photo: Universal
If you were to string together the lyrics of Hamburg rapper Haiyti’s countless songs released on albums, mixtapes and EPs over the past five years, you’d come up with a great cut-up pop novel. Because her sound is pop and her rhymes could be literature, but rhythmized on beats they just sound better than written on paper.
Haiyti’s music has everything that makes rap interesting. Aura, attitude, depth, glamour, flow and message. The new album by the 26-year-old artist, whose real name is Ronja Zschoche, is called "Perroquet". It is the next set piece in the crazy, sometimes colorful, sometimes dark Haiyti-Pop, where everything and nothing hangs together. It was never about individual releases for her. Rather, Haiyti packs the continuation of her entire work into an extremely long, associative stream. Shortly after the album release, the next EP will follow, the next set piece, the latest sound experiment.
Haiyti calls her style gangster pop. That fits, her stylistic diversity can be subsumed under it well. Others called her music cloud rap. That was less fitting. Haiyti herself reacted irritably to the attribution. What cloud rap was, no one was sure about in recent years. Nevertheless, feature writers often used the word, while hip-hop fans knew nothing about it.
Something with wafting cloud sounds and spherical synths and protagonists pumped full of drugs floating through the cloud will have been it, the cloud rap. Contemporary pop of Generation X or Y or Z. Unconditionally anti-capitalist, because the music is free on Soundcloud, but still fashionable, because the songs were a lot about designer brands and love and the love of designer brands. And of course cloud rap was highly emotional.
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The cloud rap stamp is an ungrateful one. Created by people who make it too easy for themselves, who can’t differentiate between the rappers Yung Hurn, Rin or Haiyti. If they would listen properly, they would realize: Haiyti is more than cloud-waving. More than a designer brand worshipper. Her sounds, eclectic in the best sense, draw from Atlanta trap, Memphis horrorcore and house, among other things. Her songs are not just about getting high. And she now releases her music on the major label Universal Music, not for free on file-sharing services.
Songs about designer brands with depth
Her associative chain rap moves between highlife abroad and the crook milieu around Hamburg’s harbor. On "Perroquet" Haiyti is restless, takes half a trip around the world to do her business, is in St. Moritz, suddenly in Tanzania, then relaxed drinking a "cappuccino in Milan". It goes back and forth, crisscrossing, the main thing is that it goes fast.
Haiyti, who attended the Hamburg Art Academy, stages herself as a gangster who ships stolen goods to Germany and speeds off in a convertible. An aloof diva who sips expensive champagne in the VIP lounge. A sensitive, even depressed lover. And above all, and this is important, an artist who tells men what to do.
In the song "Chatboy" a man sends her the nude pictures via smartphone, not she to him. She is the salvation for the "Gettoboys in the Hood", not the other way around. The result is a multi-layered figure who rushes through life and doesn’t really know where to go with herself, but at least experiences adventures along the way.
This was also the case with the video for her song "Coco Chanel," which was shot in Ibiza, in the very villa where the Austrian right-winger Strache was staying. What is interesting is not only what Haiyti tells, but also how she does it. Her voice is her capital.
Thanks to it, she can give songs about designer brands enormous depth. She can illustrate every conceivable emotional state with sounds from her throat. Haiyti screams, croaks, rattles, roars, sings, croons, growls, rumbles. And once, in the song "Barkash," she raps in a whisper at first, just before uninhibitedly yelling, which regularly startles listeners.
Haiyti: "Perroquet" (Vertigo/Capitol/Universal).
Constantly something happens, a new exciting sound detail is heard, another absurd story follows and attracts attention. Haiyti albums and thus also "Perroquet" are full of attractions. Haiyti’s gangster pop sound runs in a continuous loop. And keeps running, on and on.