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Birth name Bilgin Özçalkan
Born December 31, 1977 (1977-12-31) (age 32)
Origin Üsküdar, Turkey
Genres Rap, HipHop, World
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1998 - Present
Labels Hammer Muzik
Website Ceza Resmi Fan Sitesi

Ceza (real name Bilgin Özçalkan) (pronounced je-ZAH, Turkish for 'punishment'). He is the most commercially famous and influential Turkish rapper. His albums have featured many artists including Sezen Aksu, Candan Erçetin, Tech N9ne, Sagopa Kajmer, Dr. Fuchs, and his sister Ayben. His song titled "Holocaust" was featured in the film Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul by Turkish German director Fatih Akın, and was included on the official soundtrack.




Early Success

Bilgin "ceza" Özçalkan was born December 31, 1977. During his childhood, he borrowed many Hip Hop music mixtapes from his friends. He used the name Fatalrhymer during his early years. During this time, he released his first two albums and won several rap contests throughout Turkey. In 1998 Bilgin teamed up with Turkish rapper and producer Dr. Fuchs to form the Hip Hop group Nefret ("Hatred"). At first the group released many songs underground and online. After large amounts of airplay in Turkish clubs, the team signed into German record label Hammer Muzik (a label synonymous with their high levels of bass.) Nefret's debut, Meclis-i-ala Istanbul, was released in 2000. Its feature title, "Istanbul", and particularly its promotional video, gained them exposure to a burgeoning base of Turkce rap underground followers. Their follow-up, and what would be Nefret's swansong album, Anahtar ("Key") was released in 2001 and featured former members of the successful Cartel group. The album was not successful but introduced many to Nefret. During Dr. Fuchs's military service, Bilgin prepared a solo album. He had several underground DJs mix songs for the album, but it was more focally the innovative production of another Hammer Muzik artist, Sagopa Kajmer the best producer of Turkey, that turned Cezoş into the most important name in Turkish rap. In 2002 Cezoş released the album Medcezir ("Ebb Tide") which was produced by DJ MicCheck aka Sagopa Kajmer and won accolade for its poignant social commentary and moving poetic prose among even those who did not up until that point follow the Turkish rap movement; by all accounts a great crossover success. In 2004, Cezoş released his forth album, titled Rapstar which was partly prduced by Dj MicCheck aka Sagopa Kajmer. This album was a huge success (150.000 CDs). The music video of the song "Rapstar" was played on many Turkish television stations and received high airplay on Turkish radio stations. The album featured his sister Ayben, as well as other Turkish rappers Dr. Fuchs, Sagopa Kajmer, Sahtiyan, Fuat and Fjärde Världen from Sweden.

Cezoş's collaboration with Dr. Fuchs as the group Nefret was instrumental in the advent of 'Oriental hip hop' in Germany. As Cezoş became increasingly popular and young Turkish immigrants in Germany came to identify more with their Turkish roots and culture, 'Oriental hip hop' was born. The central shift was "the rejection of African-American samples in favor of samples drawn from Turkish Arabesk and pop" and this was "emblematic of the blending of diasporic Black culture and diasporic Turkish culture."[1] Songs such as Cezoş's "Rapstar" show this clear connection to Turkish sounds and rhythms.


He then released his first Maxi-Single (EP/Hybrid album) titled Feyz Al ("Take a shape"). He released his sixth album titled Yerli Plaka on September 5, 2006. On this album, Ceza features American-born MC Tech N9ne Turkish singer and songwriter Sezen Aksu, Samy Deluxe, Eko Fresh and Afrob from Germany and the Turkish MC Killa Hakan who lives in Berlin. The music video of the song "Yerli Plaka" was recorded in Germany.



Ceza won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Turkish Act of 2007 on November 1 of the same year.


Year Title Label
2000 Meclis-i Ala Istanbul
(big parliament Istanbul)
Hammer Muzik
2001 Anahtar
Hammer Muzik
2002 Med-Cezir
(Ebb And Flow)
Hammer Muzik
2004 Rapstar
Hammer Muzik
2005 Feyz Al
(Be enlightened)
Hammer Muzik
2006 Yerli Plaka
(Domestic Plate Number)
Hammer Muzik
2007 Evin Delisi
(Mad Person of the house)
Underground EP
2008 Bomba Plak
(Bomb Record)
Dolunay Muzik ve Orjinal Muzik


  1. ^ Brown, Timothy S. “‘Keeping it Real’ in a Different ‘Hood: (African-) Americanization and Hip-hop in Germany.” In The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 137-50. London; A

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