“Ty [Romantyka]”: Listen to Ukraine’s first historical rap musical

March 13,2024 664
“Ty [Romantyka]”: Listen to Ukraine’s first historical rap musical

The Ukrainian music project MUR has released the first historical rap musical, Ty [Romantyka], about the writers of the Executed Renaissance era. The album consists of 18 songs connected by one plot – the story of the repression of Ukrainian writers in the 20th century.

“In chronological order – events from 1918 to 1937. We guide the listener from the news that the Slovo Building was created in Kharkiv, then – repression, next – the story about Tychyna with his poem. Events that happened 100 years ago are intertwined with the present and the war against Russia,” explained Oleksander Khomenko, the author of the lyrics and the album’s concept.

The Tretia Rota track about Volodymyr Sosiura mentions that the poet served in the Third Haidamaky Regiment of the Ukrainian People’s Army. “100 years ago, there was the Third Haidamaky Regiment, and today we have the legendary Third [Separate Assault] Brigade [of the Armed Forces of Ukraine],” says Khomenko.

The project’s main goal is to tell Ukrainians about the tragedy of repressed artists and to engage the youth with national literature, according to project co-founder Mykola Shmundir in an interview for Forbes.

Ya (Romantyka) by [the Ukrainian Renaissance author] Mykola Hvylovyi tells us about the crisis within the lyrical hero, about disillusionment with the ideals of the revolution, demonstrating the necessity to make choices and its horrific consequences. Ty [Romantyka] by MUR makes the listener the hero, each of us. It doesn’t force a choice, doesn’t indicate what’s right or wrong, ideological or patriotic, sad or necessary,” say the authors.

The creators worked on Ty [Romantyka] for over half a year. The project is filled with references, puzzles, and metaphors. The album was recorded in collaboration with poet and writer Serhiy Zhadan, the musical project hatespeech, Ukrainian actor Yevhen Yanovych, the band NAZVA, actress and producer Olena Kravets, musician Serhii Martyniuk, and other artists.

Ukrainian artists from Kyiv and Donetsk created the MUR project (“Mystetskyi Ukrainskyi Rukh”) during the full-scale Russo-Ukrainian War. The team has already produced materials on the history of Shchedryk, Pavlo Tychyna, Ivan Bahrianyi, Vasyl Stus, Lesya Ukrainka, and Vasyl Symonenko.

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