Turkish-Romanian-Bulgarian-Jamaican rap heist

A large part of the credit for this post belongs to Christina Xu, who did most of the background research while I was in class looking at Google Images results for “giorgio moroder mustache.”

I was introduced to Türkpop darling Serdar Ortaç by an eccentric Turkish-Brooklyner-Turkish waiter at a restaurant adjoining a budget hotel in Istanbul.  I buy a lot of music when I travel, and I often try to get suggestions from locals I meet.  The waiter seemed like a good person to ask, since – judging from his habit of publicly announcing the latest developments in his sex life to the restaurant guests at breakfast each morning – I assumed we were on pretty familiar terms.  After faking my way through a few painful minutes of Yankees-Red Sox banter, I got directions to the nearest record shop and the names of his favorite Turkish artists.  One of his suggestions was the guy pictured below, posing with his… uh, I guess that’s a domesticated panther.

Serdar Ortaç with Unreasonably Large Domestic Cat

Serdar Ortaç with unreasonably large domestic cat. The next person to make a "pussy" joke about this album cover is getting a pointy stick in the eye.

I left the store with Ortaç’s latest album Kara Kedi (“black cat” in Turkish, whence the…) and an album of remixes from a couple years ago.  I find that remix albums are a solid bet when buying music by an artist I’ve never actually heard, because if I end up hating the artist, I can still usually find a palatable remix.

Strictly as a matter of personal taste, I’m not really a fan of Ortaç’s singing.  Türkpop gravitates strongly in the direction of nasally belted lyric ballads, which ain’t really my thing.  His instrumentals are well off the hook, though – wacky strings and funked-out noodling brass all over some intense thudding bass.  Accordingly, I decided to do some chopping.  I took two tracks from Kara Kedi, extracted just the bits where Ortaç isn’t singing, and shuffled them all back together.  The resulting track is after the jump, at the bottom of the post.

Among the parts of each song that I did decide to leave in were several unexpected Jamaican rap interludes.  Where did those come from??  About half an hour of digging through YouTube and Google results revealed the answer.  The Jamaican vocals apparently come from tracks by Sahara, a collaboration between Romanian singer and producer Costi Ionita and Bulgarian singer Андреа.  (I think that romanizes to “Andrea,” but don’t hold me to it.  Her legal name is Teodora Rumenova Andreeva.)  You may know Sahara: the project enjoyed some minor fame in the US last year due to a collaboration with Bob Sinclair and Shaggy.

The person actually performing the vocals, however, is the Jamaican-Romanian artist Lenox “Buppy” Brown.  (Check out his website.  I mean, really check it out, especially that rad gif of a waving Jamaican flag.)  One of the tracks I cut up, “Sanırım,” uses essentially the entirety of the Sahara track “Tyalee,” with Ortaç singing interludes.  Here’s “Tyalee.”

And below is “Sanırım,” for comparison.  As you can see, in a sense, they really are the same song.

The source of the vocals on the other track that I used, “Poşet,” is a bit more mysterious, but they are still evidently by Buppy via Costi Ionita, as evidenced by an angry comment that Buppy left on a taken-down video of the song:

Oct 1, 2010 – I just want the public to know that This Is Lennox Buppy Brown, the JAMAICAN voice that is on this track, SERDAR ORTAC & COSTI IONITA is not playing fair game. Why using my voice, lyrics and faking my image along with not putting my name to represent my voice? You guys are users and unfair artist representation. You both should be a shame of yourselves as musician & artist. Be real and true to the public.

I’m not one to make normative claims regarding IP ethics, so I will only confirm that Buppy is not mentioned anywhere in the liner notes for Kara Kedi, although Costi Ionita is seemingly credited, as “Ionita Constantin,” on both “Sanırım” and “Poşet.”

Finally, here’s my edit:

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