Freestyle Rap Event Adds to Leipzig’s Music Culture


A profile on a hip-hop rapper from Leipzig, Germany


“I didn’t have any money cause I was smoking too much weed and I wanted to get presents for my friends, so I started getting a bunch of people together.”


Guido Bochat’s idea for a monthly open-mic freestyle night, Word Cypher, at Conne Island in Leipzig, has evolved from him creating birthday tracks with his friends. When he realized he was a better than just doing birthday tracks, he initiated the idea to begin a collaboration of rappers where they could perform in front of an audience.


The crowd has seen up to 100 attendees, but usually averages 25. Around 10 rappers perform each time.


Bochat says that he and the other emcees are thankful of the opportunity to rap in front of an audience again because an event like this was missing from Leipzig.


However, Bochat has had to ask some rappers not to return to the open mic night. The freestyle rappers who perform have to agree to the rules Bochat has set in place, which includes no homophobia, racism, or sexism.


He said, “The people here rap more about important stuff, it’s more conscious.”


One frequent to the hip-hop scene at Conne Island is master of ceremonies, Rasputin. He has been in the business for over 20 years. He was the only performer at Word Cypher during the May performance to get the audience to their feed and applaud. Word Cypher attendees can expect Rasputin to break their expectations.


“I like to break my comfort zone every few years to make a completely other style. Perhaps its not good for success but i love to break the comfort zone. When they expect a better lyric from me they will get a deep lyric, and when they expect Rasputin is good for deep lyric then next time I am only braggin’ and boasting.”


It has not always been easy for Rasputin to support himself with music, but he continues because he loves it.


“Freestyling is more difficult, it’s not for everyone, but I love it. I’m very good. I’m not always making money with it. The last four years, it was not so successful like before, I’m not eating every day because fun. It’s not always fun but it’s a big love, I’m doing it because love.”


Word Cypher takes place the last Thursday of each month at Conne Island.