In the year 2000 the Swedish MC Ken managed to stir up reactions similar to those facing metal in the '80s when he told his audience at a concert to attack the royal family. Until then, he had mainly been known for his single "Mamma" and, to lesser extent, for rapping on Petter's debut album. Technically Ken was not one of the better Swedish MCs in the late '90s, but he was very successful with a mainstream audience. Born to the name Ken Ring in Stockholm, 1979, he grew up listening to American hip-hop. In his early teens he rapped in English and sent demos to numerous record companies, but to no success. Instead, his first humble step into show business was as a background dancer for the pop artist DeDe. After participating on Petter's highly successful debut, Mitt Sjätte Sinne, Ken finally became known as a rap artist. He now used his native Swedish instead of English, and after releasing the EP Gatuslang, he had a big hit with the single "Mamma." With lyrics about missing his mum and with a guest appearance by Uno Svenningsson from Freda, the song topped the charts and sold far beyond hip-hop circles. In 1999 the album Vägen Tillbaka was released. It included another big hit, namely "Eld Och Djupa Vatten," for which Ken had sampled an old children's song by Jojje Wadenius. Sales were still good early in 2000, when Ken at a concert told the audience to attack the royal family and occupy the palace. Maybe this, and the homophobic comments he had made in interviews, didn't harm his credibility with the hip-hop crowd too much. But Ken's popularity relied very much on a mainstream audience, and their reactions were harsh. Radio stations stopped playing his songs and record sales dropped low as Ken was interrogated by the police and tried to explain that the passages about raping the princess had been metaphors. A few silent months followed, but the damage was not irreparable. Charges against him were dropped and he resumed his career. In the summer of 2000, the double-album Mitt Hem Blir Ditt Hem was released. This album seemed to target the hip-hop audience rather than the mainstream, but was less successful than the debut. ~ Lars Lovén
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