It's been a huge week for Hungarian hip-hop. Social media feeds in Hungary were taken by storm when a clip was released of American actress/comedian Kate McKinnon doing a spectacular job of rapping a verse to a Hungarian song on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, the nation's most watched evening talk show. In her enthusiasm for the song "Yozsefváros," McKinnon even managed to get the studio audience to sing along. All of this must have come as a surprise to millions of American viewers, most of whom were being exposed to Hungarian for the first time.
McKinnon spent a good portion of last year in Budapest filming The Spy Who Dumped Me. As she explains in the clip, her driver took it upon himself to school her in Hungarian language and Hungarian rap. Over the years we've seen movie stars and touring musicians muster a few words of Hungarian for local crowds, and were of course widely applauded for the effort. But never before have we seen the degree of commitment and prowess as McKinnon's verse from local rappers Animal Cannibals. This is a duo who have been on the Hungarian hip-hop scene for a long time, and are no doubt enjoying basking in some international attention and glory.
Moreover, the track she sings from "Yozsefváros" also puts the spotlight on Budapest's most up-and-coming neighborhood. The 'Joseph Town' is Budapest's most diverse central district, and where artists and watering holes that have been pushed and priced out of the tourist saturated District Seven are relocating. Though these days, renovations and redevelopment are helping the District Eight, or 'Nyólckér,' as it is also known, shed its image as a bleak ghetto, back in the 90s, as McKinnon notes, it was a much rougher place.
Those with a finer ear for rapped Hungarian than this writer compliment McKinnon on her pronunciation and accuracy in replicating the complicated language. So, a shout out to the actress who may have just won the heart of a nation, and if not a nation, at least the 'hood. The Youtube clip of the bit has racked up a quarter of a million views in just a few days, and is number three in trending videos. How long before the whole world is singing along to "Yozsefváros"?
Flatpack Films is based in Budapest, Hungary. We are a film company that offers an inspiring and professional work atmosphere for our local and international clients. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast, and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we facilitate, we do to highest standard possible.