Nils Rune Utsi is a rapper from Norway who goes by the stage name SlinCraze, but he does not rap in Norwegian as you would belive. He raps in Sami.
Sami is a language that is almost dead. The Sami people were forced to learn Norwegian during the 18-hundreds, and early 19-hundreds. Sami was an outlawed language, and it was told to the Sami people that you could not get anywhere in life using this language, you had to learn Norwegian. This meant that often parents would not teach their children the language as they saw it easier just for them to learn Norwegian. Even today there is very few Sami people who speak Sami, even when the Norwegian government is trying to make up for what they did so long ago.
Nils Utsi was born in 1990, and he was born and raised in Kautokeino. A small Sami community. He was bullied a lot as a kid as a result of him appearing to be heavier than other kids, and many of his raps are about this. The bulling went way to far, and often he would tell his parents that he was going to school, but then just sit outside in the freezing cold, and then returning home again when school was supposed to finished. Utsi has been preforming all over Norway, but he has also been to other countries like Russia, Finland and Sweden to preforme his songs. He even got to preforme for the Norwegian king on his 70th birthday, but he sings for Sami communities for the most part.
We received the chance to ask Utsi a few questions after watching a NRK documentary about him and here are some of them:
Q: Do you thin there is a big future in Sami rap?
A: Yes, I believe so. When I started doing Sami rap it was just me and a few other guys who was doing the same thing. Now I am seeing a lot of teenagers whom are following us by making Sami raps too, and I can't waite to see how Sami rap will turn out.
Q: I was wondering how you found out that you wanted to be a rapper, and if it ever is hard to rap about you past?
A: When I was a kid I was bullied a lot, and hip-hop/rap helped me a lot with making me feel better, I feel in love with it on the way, and then I just new that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. For your other question: it is not hard to rap about my past as I feel it is an important topic, and I do not want other people to be bullies.
Q: What inspires you to make Sami raps?
A: I think what inspired me the most in the beginning was hip-hop from the US. Eminem was a big inspiration, and raps about the ghetto life really inspired me. Now I am mostly inspired by politics, and laws that effect the Sami people.
Q: Do you ever regret becoming a rapper?
A: Yes, a lot actually. It is not a life I would have chosen if I knew what came with it, but it also comes with a lot of great experiences, and possibilities. One time I was invited to rap at a wedding in a red zone (witch is a Ghetto area) in Guatemala.
I think that we learned a lot from Utsi, and I also think he is a very brave person who is not afraid to rap about his past were he as bullied, and also rap in Sami. Just a few decades ago I think that rapping in Sami would get you a lot of hate.
By Christopher Conti.