Out of My Head

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When Johan Rensfeldt, his brother Anders Rensfeldt, and Joakim Nilsson, the trio comprising Movits!, were contacted by staffers for The Colbert Report in July 2009 about appearing on the show, they presumably knew it was a comedy program. And when they did appear on the show, they can't have failed to notice that they were being perceived as a novelty act. But why not? The three Swedish rappers, to begin with, intended to mix hip-hop with swing after hearing Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing" and being "blown away." And then, as Nilsson points out, "We really didn't think we'd ever play outside of Scandinavia, being as we sing in Swedish." Be that as it may, the appearance with Stephen Colbert led to international exposure, and here is the group's second album, Out of My Head (aka Ut Ur Min Skalle). They still aren't rapping in English, at least not much, although names and phrases -- James Brown, Goldman Sachs, "back in the day" -- emerge here and there. And the swing influence may be slightly overstated, although a horn section does peek in now and then. But they are proficient rappers in their native tongue, and they justify their obsession on the "international version" of "Sammy Davis Jr." (still mostly in Swedish), which speaks of being "old school, baby, like Frank and Sammy Davis."

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