Growing up in the 90s in a small town in the North of Iceland and being into hip-hop, Arnar and Helgi could choose between US East Coast- or West Coast-style. “I was eleven years old, a white kid in Iceland rapping about killing police, robbing liquor stores and beating people up”, Helgi says. Now that they have found their own voice, the two childhood friends can only laugh about it. With Úlfur Úlfur they rap about “real shit in Iceland”, as Arnar puts it. And they rap in Icelandic, which has also really touched a nerve. When the duo released their first offical full-length album, “Tvær plánetur”, in 2015, it came like a loud bang over the island. So when we visit them during winter for a home studio session in Reykjavík, Úlfur Úlfur just got nominated as by The Reykjavík Grapevine. However, the boys from the North have no plans to lean back and rest on their success. On the contrary, the bad weather, the long darkness and the “healthy dose of depression” that comes with it keeps them grounded and driven, Arnar explains: “You’ve got a huge reason to lock yourself inside and express yourself.” Well, good for music lovers all over the world that Iceland ain’t all sunshine.
Barónsstigur is a street on the eastern edge of Reykjavíks city center. A leisurely walk along Barónsstigur will lead you from BSÍ bus station right to the seaside, passing Landspitali hospital, the famous Hallgrimskirkja church, Sundhöllin swimming pool and Laugavegur shopping street. On a clear day Barónsstigur also offers nice vistas with lovely and colourful Reykjavík houses in the foreground and the beautiful Mount Esja in the background.