Latvian Connections: Introduction to Riga Beat by “Pionieru Ieraksti”

“Latvian Connections” on meie uus seeriapostitus, kus Jānis Lipšānsi alias Pikaso tutvustab meile kõike tutvustamist väärt, mis toimub Läti hip-hop’is. Pikaso hingab, köhib, elab sealset hip-hopkultuuri. Värsked artistid, albumid, filmid, üritused – kõik see, mis on meile nii lähedal, ent ometi nii kaugel. Estland – Latvian connections, baby!


How did this Hooligan + me thing got started, you wonder?

It’s early December, got a lot on my mind before the 2016 hits. I grab my bag and hop on the bus, leaving for Tallinn to clear my head and escape from the usual surroundings of Riga – little do I know, it would turn out to be a call for action to represent.

Right. Hooligan Hamlet. Feeling still a little light for my weight after a night ride on a bus and sipping some Latvian Black Balsam (no, I am not on a diet), and adding on a couple of Leffes for starters at Must Puudel, as I am believed to be the first customer. Flattered. Where was I… Oh, Anton, the Hooligan Hamlet – dinner at 8? I’ll be there. See ya!

The notion of being relatively so close and yet unable to recognize, makes me wanna scratch my head a little bit. Well, not that I hadn’t known a few Estonian hip-hop acts, but up to this moment it’d been sluggish both ways.


“Not that I hadn’t known a few Estonian hip-hop acts, but up to this moment it’d been sluggish both ways.”


Now, there are some reasons for me to believe we’ve got a language barrier, or we may genuinely be interested only in our own stuff to hear, or – yo, I am tired of coming up with excuses, for real!

Bottom line – the one and only language there is to be considered is music, and should we learn to appreciate it, well, I’m afraid, that shit, you’ve never heard before, might just be what you’ve been missing out on while disregarding.

In one’s defense, I could probably understand, for not really knowing where to look and to whom to pay my attention. Anyhow, all that leads to ignorance sucks and as long as we can embrace the sharing, I trust there are good things to capitalize on at both ends.


Introduction number 1 – Latvian hip-hop documentary “Riga Beat” trailer

It’s been 30 years since hip-hop made its first steps in the ex-USSR, and by the notions of those who pioneered the invasion of the culture, it was Riga to pave the way and play the introductory role back in the mid ’80s.

Here’s a piece directed by Ritvars Bluka and Andrejs Ivanovs – we will return to both of them later this year – the documentary is in the works right now, and I thought it would be a good way to open.



Keep an eye on Riga Beat:

Riga Beat Facebook
Riga Beat Twitter
Riga Beat Instagram

With this I begin – my name is Janis Lipsans, aka Pikaso, and I am a contributing author on Latvian hip-hop scene brought to you by ‘Pionieru Ieraksti‘ in collaboration with Hooligan Hamlet.