MC Miker G & DJ Sven – Holiday Rap
We are going on a summer holiday
if you want to go Yo Sven
We're going to London and New York City
And we take a little piece of Amsterdam
#HolidayRap #MCMikerG #DJSven #MCMikerGAndDJSven
And a bit of a casual rapper too, I would say! In September 1986, a song entered the charts throughout Europe and certainly remained in the hearts and ears of all dinosaurs. And it was really a smash, because everywhere the song went to the very top, destined to stay there for several weeks.
It was a peculiar song: it was a song that took up another very famous song in a fairly evident way (two, to tell the truth), and added something to it in a style that was perhaps not very artistic, but certainly nice. We are talking about Holiday Rap, a song literally built on the base (and also on the backing vocals) of Madonna’s Holiday, and covered it with a layer of rap perhaps a little naive, but certainly effective.
Holiday Rap could be defined as the triumph of improvisation and certainly also of creativity. The song was born from the collaboration between various Dutch DJs, one of whom would later become a great dance and techno music producer, Ben Liebrand. Ben had heard at another DJ friend’s house, a rap version of Holiday, created using the base of Madonna’s original recordings, with rap lyrics on it. Of course there was the problem of copyright, so the idea of using those same base abusively was really too risky. And so Ben Liebrand decided to mitigate the risk by playing the whole Holiday all over again: he tried to figure out what instruments had been used, and rebuilt the whole song by playing the various instruments again (and also adding something). Moreover, even for the text he was inspired by another song, Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard, a song from 1962.
Once the music is made, however, the two real protagonists enter the scene, MC Miker G and DJ Sven. This very long and complicated name was hardly credible, even if with these names the two Dutch boys performed in the clubs of Amsterdam. I’ve always benn fascinated by the contrast between the simplicity of the name of DJ Sven, who is actually called Sven van Veen, and the pomposity of the name adopted by Lucien Witteveen, which echoed some of the charms of American rappers, like adopting the title of MC, Master of Ceremonies, who was the deejay who had to warm up the crowd during the evenings by speaking into the microphone on the various songs. In short, the one who screamed “Haaaaands uuuuuppp!” every three minutes! And then, in addition to the MC, there was also the title of microphone genius, because as they say in the text, M is microphone and G genius. In short, they really introduced themselves in a fancy way.
Actually they did not have all these resources: in fact at a certain point in the song they do not have problems scratching and making other sounds using their mouths and making noises into the microphone, a bit like teenagers do at home. MC Miker G and DJ Sven were quite unbelievable also in their outfit: an incredible contrast (in any live performance you might have seen them) between Sven’s college student look, and Lucien’s desert mercenary chromatic mess. And in fact they didn’t even have a real video: they put together some pretty bleak black and white pictures of the holidays, and one of their live performances. The result was stylistically chilling, and the video was defined as one of the ugliest of the 80s.
Yet, despite the improvised genesis, despite being unwatchable, despite the pompous name, MC Miker G and DJ Sven really crushed hit parades all over Europe, and Holiday Rap became the symbolic song of the second half of 1986. As we said, it came out at the beginning of the month of September, almost exactly three years after the release of the original Holiday by Madonna. Knowing the two guys, I think it was just a coincidence.
MC Miker G and DJ Sven later sought success with the same formula, and only approached the charts with Celebration Rap, which came out a few months later. The fate was then quite hard especially with Lucien, who had very serious addiction and health problems, and in fact lived several years without a home. Until a few years ago Sven was still working as a DJ on Dutch radios, while Lucien, after recovering from his problems, tried to re-emerge on the Dutch rap scene.
In any case, this song was absolutely irresistible!
MC Miker G and DJ Sven on Wikipedia