Rap that’s changing the world

Pauly und Sydney auf der Bühne
Onstage: Sydney and Pauly, alias the rap duo “Nebulake”.

“Chatting about life with a whale”

Name: Sydney Spaceship + Pauly Poncho

Hometown: Berlin

Age: 27 + 28

Occupation: Artists

Hobbies: Music, film, skating

Some of the people we meet in our lives change everything. Sydney and Pauly started off simply as workmates. But after lots deep talks about their dreams and fears, love and life, these two young guys, who describe themselves as “very different types”, became the best of friends.

“We live according to the same philosophy. That makes us inseparable”,

they remember. The first time they met outside of work Pauly taught Sydney his first few chords on the guitar. This would prove to be the first of many jam sessions to follow. Five years later they decided to become a “Conscious Rap” duo and called themselves “Nebulake”.

Conscious Rap – what is that exactly? It is a rap style that is “consciously” political or socially critical. Nebulake’s lyrics focus on what it’s like to be a human being with all of life’s ups and downs.

The video for their track “F**k You, I’m Vegan” gave the duo a viral hit in late 2017. It also kicked off a load of controversy because the video closes with the two eating cheese. Real cheese, or vegan cheese? Online, vegans and non-vegans from around the world questioned whether they had done this as a gimmick, and if so, why. Was it to show that you don’t have to be 100% vegan to change things? Was it to imply that too many “Hipster vegans” only pay lip service to the vegan dogma and don’t really follow it out of a sense of genuine conviction?

When we asked whether the cheese was real dairy cheese, the answer we got was, “That’s open to interpretation”.

Pauly und Sydney
Best friends forever: Pauly (left) and Sydney (right) describe themselves as very different types – who still manage to click perfectly.

In fact, these two Berliners live according to the same principles that define Ethletic – vegan, sustainable and fair. And their reasons for this are simple: Their vegan lifestyle is based in their ethical and ecological convictions.

“We all know by now that animal-based products are one of the main causes of climate change”,

explains Pauly.  They view sustainability primarily as a healthy means and guide for consumer behavior. Checking a product’s origins, production methods and environmental effects before buying it is a no-brainer in their minds. And they want to see a fair world. Sydney is absolutely convinced that

“Saving the world can be so simple”.

Sydney and Pauly also surprised us with a completely unexpected “ONE OF US” track about Ethletic. THANKS for the great video, guys!

While Sydney and Pauly may seem to some like they’re more interested in fun than anything else, the fact is they have some pretty ambitious dreams. Things like performing on major stages, promoting high-minded values, shooting a feature film and, simply, “saving the world”.

But their most eccentric vision of all is probably their plan to invent a device that allows animals to talk, and above all to have a chat with an old whale about life.

Maybe they’re reaching for the stars, but maybe dreamers like these guys are what the world really needs.

Nebulake occasionally hold rap workshops. This past winter they did a series of these workshops especially for refugee kids once a week for three months.

“The idea was to give the kids a tool they can use to express themselves, to channel their experiences, some very traumatic, into song lyrics to make it easier for them to process for themselves”,

says Pauly. “The results were astonishing! And it wasn’t just because of the talent some of the kids displayed. It was because of the courage they showed in opening themselves up musically”.

Nebulake’s first short album is set to come out before the end of the summer. You can follow the duo on Instagram and Facebook to find out more and be sure not to miss anything! They’re currently working on a music video about feminism. And for those of you who can’t wait for the album, you can also get a taste of what they’re up to musically at Bandcamp.


If you would also like to introduce yourself and be part of our ONE OF US campaign, you’ll find all the info you need at this link.


Redaktion: Sandra Laffrenzen & Annika Langhagel
Translation: John Jeffrey Collier
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