There is probably no one who can explain better why Groningen is such a cool city as Kraantje Pappie! According to the famous Dutch rapper from Groningen, he owes his success to the city. GroningenLife! spoke with him about the City of Talent, chilling with girls in the McDonalds and the libido of students from Groningen. Besides that, we talked a little bit about his youth, career and hip-hop, which we did at 9 AM! You might say that’s a bit early for an artist, especially a rapper, but Kraantje does not agree: “Artists who do not get up early are generally less successful than I am!” Kraantje is ambitious, and a joker!
You did a part of your secondary school in Groningen. What did you like to do after school?
“Every now and then I was at the bars and clubs, just chillin’, getting some food, shopping. It really felt like ‘the big city’! I did some of my years in secondary school in Haarlem to judo on a serious level. When I was done with that, I wanted to go back to Groningen as fast as I could. For ten years now, I have been living in Groningen again.”
Where did you go out?
“Just every place I could get in, but mostly the Drie Gezusters on Friday. I used to go to the McDonals as well, with the girls from my class. Well, you know, just what kids like to do if they are fifteen years old.”
Have you studied in Groningen?
“I have studied Sports education for a year at the Alfa College and I have also tried to become a Teaching Assistant. After that, I went to the Academy of Pop Culture, which is seated in Leeuwarden, but is part of Minerva Academy Groningen. I am still studying at the academy and I’m in my final year now.”
Your career gained momentum when you won the Before the Fame Awards (part of the Groningen Popprice, which is now called the POPGroningen Talent Award). Was that the start of your professional career?
“Yes, it was. It was the first competition that I won and which let me perform outside Groningen. At that time I also got the chance to go to the radio porgram 101 Barz, you know, with presenter Rotjoch. Back then, I had already been in contact with DJ Snelle Jelle from Amsterdam, who introduced me to Vincent Patty, or Jiggy Djé, who has become my label boss.”
Is Groningen a hip-hop city?
“When we came up in 2010 with the hip-hop collective Groningse Vonk, you had the guys of Dope D.O.D., the Blocnotes, with Roelie Vuitton, and me. We thought that we would be the new Zwolle (referring to a famous Dutch hip-hop collective). We did not become the new Zwolle, but Roelie, Dope D.O.D. and I are still going strong!”
You travel a lot for your gigs. Do you still perform in Groningen?
“I try to do a gig in Simplon every year, and for two years now in The Oosterpoort as well. Besides that, I also perform at the Bevrijdingsfestival on Liberation Day or Koningsdag (King’s Day). In addition, I visit student association Albertus Magnus every year and there are two other small things where you can find me. But they are a bit under the radar.”
Groningen is known as the “City of Talent”. How is that with music?
“There’s a lot of talent in Groningen! The city has a number of tools for kids to improve their talents at a young age. They can easily get a stage to show themselves, not only for musicians, but for other creative people as well! They could do some more talent binding, though.”
Why did you stay in Groningen?
“I can give you a couple of names, which I won’t do because that’s not neat, who have gone to Amsterdam for their career, but ended up with a career that bled to death because of the fact that they lost themselves. That’s why I still live here; it gives me that little extra flavour! Music is very approachable nowadays. I mean, with a microphone of my webcam I became a rapper from one day to another. You can also participate in The Voice, but then, after one successful year, you fall so hard that you have to pick up your pathetic life again.”
Why should students come to study in Groningen?
“Groningen has got the whole package: it is a compact and friendly city, without any closing times of the clubs and bars, which might be the most important aspect of the city. I think we’ve got the best student assiciations, like Vindicat Atque Polit. Who doesn’t want to join them, can choose out of many other associations, which are really cool! The most pitiful thing of my life is that I never joined a student association!”
Keep on going.
“There are plenty of shops, the restaurants are good, the bars are fun and Groningen has got one of the most beautiful university libraries. It is the perfect student city! Plus, you are just very welcome! There are many seventeen and eighteen year old girls who study here and it might sound a bit silly, but as a parent it is good to know that their children study in a safe city, although they might not be safe for the guys! That’s because there is a lot of fooling around going on here, if you know what I mean. I don’t know if you should include that in the interview, but if you have a high libido you should definitely study in Groningen!”
So, there are plenty of ‘beautiful things’ to see here in Groningen?
“Yes, that too, you should definitely look around. But there is literally a lot of fooling around going on in Groningen. At least, in our circles there is. But I can tell you from my own experience that it also happens in the student world!”
By Koos Tervooren