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In collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut, Concrete Blossom presents a series of video essays and podcasts about language, imagery and space in hip hop culture. In this second edition, Malique Mohamud is joined by Soortkill to talk about the origins, development and importance of slang.

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For this iteration, Concrete Blossom’s Malique Mohamud is joined by writer Soortkill as the two research the origins of slang. Where does it come from and how is it developed? Questioning the way this language is perceived, they delve deeper into the possibilities that slang can offer. 

Today, slang is still seen as a language that is predominantly present in multicultural working-class neighbourhoods, and mostly used by successive generations of young people. In the 21st century, however, multilingualism is the norm and learning more than one language is an advantage. This raises the question: what if we were to take slang more seriously? 

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Soortkill is a writer from Smibsaland, more commonly known as the Bijlmer, in Amsterdam. He is co-creator of SMIB, a multidisciplinary art collective from the Bijlmer. This started off as a platform for releasing self-developed music productions, but over time has expanded into an organisation with its own clothing line (SUMIBU), a media platform/publisher (Smibanese University), its own festival, and its own store (Zeedijk 60), in collaboration with Bonnesuits and The New Originals. 

Concrete Blossom x Het Nieuwe Instituut

This three-part series of video essays and podcasts is a collaboration between Concrete Blossom and Het Nieuwe Instituut and is part of Concrete Blossom’s podcast series Life at The Niteshop. The podcast episodes are recorded in The Niteshop, the first knowledge centre for urban culture in the Netherlands.

Life at The Niteshop

If you are familiar with hip hop culture, you are familiar with the fact that it is a world where everything gets remixed. From imagery to language to space, everything changes into building blocks that are used to create new worlds. Since its rise in the 1970s and 80s, hip hop has passed through the hands of many generations of young people who transformed it into a tool for social-cultural alchemy. It represents the power to challenge a world that is not made by you, and is not for you to change. Think of fashion, media, and other domains that could follow. Through Life at The Niteshop, listeners will learn how exponents of urban culture, aka The Culture, are developing new languages and knowledge from the position of underdog that have the potential to change society.

Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.