Groningen’s not so secret celebrity

This is an ongoing series where the UKrant unpacks weird and wonderful Dutch stuff for our international readers. This week’s episode features one of Groningen’s biggest celebrities.
By Jacob Thorburn

You’ve probably passed him on the street without knowing it. Maybe you’ve sat at the table next to him on a sunny day at De Pintelier. Maybe you’ve even partied the night away at Shooters, dancing to his music without ever realising it.

Most internationals have no idea that they have rubbed shoulders with a man who has hundreds of thousands of adoring Dutch fans. But once you know who to look for, you’ll spot him all over town. It’s like ‘Where’s Wally?’ but with a man bun.

Meet the man of many names (all of which translate horribly. Thanks, Google.)

He is a man of many names: Kraantje Pappie, Daddy Tap, Lil’ Craney, and most humbly, Alex (though probably only his parents still call him that). He is also a hugely famous Dutch hip-hop artist and a proud resident of Groningen.

He went to high school in Zuidlaren and moved to our fair city for good in 2005. He likes it here, he once told Groningen Life – ‘Anyone with a high libido should come to Groningen.’

But Pappie has more than just an enviable selection of names and a high sex drive. He also has hundreds of songs, seven albums, a pretty cool Instagram account, and fans. Lots of fans: more than 1.5 million of them on Spotify alone. Most internationals won’t know him, but he’s a household name for the Dutch.

Pappie is the Dutch equivalent of Macklemore: The same affected, cocksure smirk, the same nonsensical lyrics, the same undeniably boppy beats.

And pro- tip: one international reports that Pappie’s lyrics are so simple he accidentally learned Dutch just by listening to them. Beats the six-month waiting list for Dutch classes at the RUG!

According to some highly respectable sources – that may or may not also be my Dutch housemates – no one over the age of eighteen takes Pappie too seriously. His music is best listened to ‘ironically, with a beer’.

But if you’re all alone on a Friday night, his music isn’t bad company. There’s no need to feel ashamed as your head starts nodding along. Don’t fight it. Like that Nickelback album I had when I was fifteen, listening to Pappie starts out as a guilty pleasure but quickly turns into you belting out all the words to Lil’ Craney like a true Grunneger.

Lil’ Craney is the anthem for the young people of Groningen. It’s got funky rhythm, it references some of the cool places we all visit, and best of all, highlights Pappie’s lyrical genius. Sing along, my friends, this is real cultural integration:

Constant on the road is de manier waarop ik stacks bouw (Living on the road is how I build stacks)
Maar ik ben weer back now, meisje schud je ass now (But I’m back now, girl shake your ass now)
Constant on the road is de manier waarop ik stacks bouw (Living on the road is the way I build stacks)
Baby gooi je dough, omhoog (Baby throw your dough, up)
Baby gooi je dough, omhoog (Baby throw your dough, up)

Nederlands

30 April 2019 | 1-5-2019, 9:32