It’s a bit depressing. But standing listening to Looptroop Rockers’ tirades at politics and fascism, you just can’t tell when it was written. The world just hasn’t changed that much in 25 years.
The Swedish collective is back on tour, following the release of 25 songs last year to mark their quarter century as a group. For their first gig they played to a packed out Gretchen. Saying it had been a while since they were on the road, rapper Promoe admitted they were “a bit rusty and jittery”, but there was no real evidence of this.
The set was energetic, brash, loud. It was everything you’d expect from a group who have spent 25 years perfecting the art of shouting back at the systems they see as oppressive. Their lyrics—like their music—have always felt like they come from the underground. There are few pop sensibilities here.
Looptroop really have a lot to say. And they say it pretty damn well.
Rattling through a mixture of old and new tracks, each taking aim at a different topic. From police brutality to Trump; from veganism to immigration, Looptroop really have a lot to say. And they say it pretty damn well.
Getting one of the biggest reactions from the crowd was the satirical “Embee for President”, updated to include references to the current American president. Simultaneously putting producer Embee in the spotlight as a “man of the hour” and “the man, the myth, the legend”, the song feels like a familiar piece of posturing swagger from a hip-hop group. But the group contrasted him with the “tiny-handed” Mr. Trump. Unsurprisingly, such a comparison went down quite well indeed.
The group finished off their set with a resounding rendition of their biggest hit: “Fort Europa”. A song that references the fall of the Berlin wall, and the effect of such barriers, it was the only choice for a finisher. Though now well over a decade old, the song feels as fresh as ever.
The rant about the exclusionist immigration policies of Sweden and Europe at the start of the century ring all too true today.
The song has aged so well that it is worrying. The rant about the exclusionist immigration policies of Sweden and Europe at the start of the century ring all too true today. Even here where mentions of walls will always have a specific significance, you can’t fail to think of a pair of tiny hands building yet another wall to keep people out.