Hip-hop and classical come together

Notes, Beats & Bars

With Notes, Beats & Bars, we bring together diverse musical styles and diverse cultural backgrounds. During jam sessions, rappers from The Hague HipHop Center and musicians from RO explore together how they can translate social themes into music from their experience. The result is an exciting exchange between rap and classical music, responding to current themes.

"Music is an honest expression of emotion. It is a very good unifying tool."

- D.Chesron - Rapper Hague HipHop Center

At Notes, Beats & Bars, the focus is as much on the creative process as the final end product. During the jam sessions that take place in the Hague HipHop Center, the RO musicians and the H3C rappers exchange ideas and discover together how they can strengthen each other. The lyrics around themes like freedom or polarization, for example, are written on the spot. The music offers a connecting factor: more than once it turns out that hip-hop and classical are not so far apart. 

Jasper Grijpink, clarinetist with RO: "It's an interesting search for how our instruments fit into a completely different repertoire, and then how to use them. Hip-hop artists have been using samples from the classical repertoire a lot since the genre's inception. We as musicians know the original music. So some of us know more hip-hop songs than the rappers (and some colleagues) thought we did. And the rappers actually also know more classical than they sometimes know themselves.'

Rapper Glodi Mbwete: "This was my first time working with classical music. I don't listen to it myself. The collaboration was really enriching for me. Hip-hop and classical are two different worlds, but also have many similarities. When these two come together, something magical is created.

While jamming, I notice every time how good the RO musicians are, because we often try all kinds of things: variation in tempo or different melodies. Great how we work together toward a final performance.'

Be inspired

Our Notes, Beats & Bars musicians and rappers have already performed several times to share the results of their special collaboration with a wider audience. Last year, for example, they performed at The Hague Inspired, an event for entrepreneurs from The Hague, which our Symphony 2030 partner Rabobank co-organized. The NBB track about polarization was "perfectly in line with Rabobank's ambition, Growing a better world together. Other performances were at a business meeting of product developer Promolding and RO's partner gala.

"What a great performance this was! And with such striking lyrics. So beautifully articulated at a time of need in the world. Proud of our collaboration"

- Harry Wientjes, director Rabobank region The Hague


Rabobank region of The Hague is the corporate partner of SYMPHONY 2030