Pozadí astronaut Brázda
Pozadí astronaut Brázda

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Respekt in English

I'm Gipsy, your model

A short, dark-skinned youth walks briskly into a café at a four-star hotel in Prague's Trója neighbourhood. He is wearing a huge camouflage jacket and XXL jeans; his sharp facial features can hardly be seen under his peaked cap and hood.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Pavel Reisenauer • Autor: Respekt

A short, dark-skinned youth walks briskly into a café at a four-star hotel in Prague's Trója neighbourhood. He is wearing a huge camouflage jacket and XXL jeans; his sharp facial features can hardly be seen under his peaked cap and hood. The guest has arrived exactly on time and right from the door he hollers across the hall: „Nazdárek! I'm Gipsy, let's get started quick. I have three new songs in my head. Let's be on first-name terms, OK?! This morning is full of muses.“

The 25-year-old Romani rapper and singer Radoslav Banga is in high demand: His latest album, Romano Hip Hop, is a best-seller, and concerts by his Romani band, Gipsy.cz, attract more and more attention. The interesting thing about Gipsy is not only his extraordinary transformation from underground rapper to a pop star. This past summer Minister Džamila Stehlíková [whose brief is human rights and minorities] appointed him Czech ambassador for the current European Year of Equal Opportunities. Only a few days later, he raised eyebrows with his indiscriminate comments on Czech Roma. So what has come so far out of his young Romani celebrity's unusual political role?

Years on the street

Banga started his career as early as any normal top model: at age 13. His family has a deep musical tradition (father had a band, mother played piano, three siblings can handle guitar…

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