Norwegian Rap Duo Madcon Hits the Charts

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“God Forgive Me” was the duo’s first single in 2000 (Virgin records), but their first commercial breakthrough was in 2002 with the hit single “Barcelona”.

Television stars as well as hitmakers, Madcon enjoyed widespread popularity in their homeland, but after signing arecording contract with the Paperboys’ label Bonnier Amigo their popularity reached other Western European countries as well.

Madcon consists of Yousef Wolde-Mariam (36), aka Critical, born in Norway of Ethipian and Eritrean heritage, and Tshawe Baqwa (35), aka Kapricon; born in Germany of Sourh African heritage.) The duo was established in 19930, and their name was originally a shortened version of “Mad Conference”.

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Their first full-length album,” It’s All a Madcon” was produced in 2004, for which they won a Norwegian Grammy and several other awards. The album spawned the Top 20 hits “Doo-Wop” and “Infidelity”.

In 2005, Madcon worked with the Nordic music channel The Voice and became TV personalities. Their first international smash hit was “Beggin” in 2007, originally recorded in 1967 by the Four Seasons and Frank Valli. The single charts embraced the song; No. 1 in Norway, No. 7 in Austra, No. 11 in Sweden and No. 33 in Switzerland. The hit reached Gold sales in the U.S.

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Later same year Madcon released their second album, “So Dark the Con” featuring soul singer Noora Noor and Paperboys, which certified to gold in 3 hours and platinum in 3 days in Norway. The album reached number 137 in the United Kingdom.

The Top Ten hit “Back on the Road” followed in 2009, the year in which their third album, “An Inconvenient Truth” was released.

In 2010 they performed an interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest with their song “Glow” which became one of the biggest hits of all times in Norway, with 10 times platinum status in Norway and platinum in Germany.

Their fourth album, “Contraband” followed in 2011, and after a two-year break their fifth album “Contakt” with all songs sung in Norwegian was released. The English version, “Icon”, was released later same year.

This year’s album “Don’t Worry”, featuring Ray Dalton, is perhaps not the duo’s best album, and contains  a couple earlier success hits.

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Yosef claims that the duo’s always happy appearance is due to the adversity the boys experienced earlier in life. Before his father died in 2006, he said to his son, “Your life has not been so good that you should smile so much. Get a decent job, and you will experience how hard life is. Then you will not smile that much, guaranteed.”

Their single “One Life” featuring Kelly Rowland sold multi platinum and has more than 14 million views on YouTube.

Their third album, Inconvenient Truth was released all over Europe in early to mid-2009, and the group saw other major releases, including in the USA, Japan and Australia.

Madcon performed their song “Glow”, as the background of the “Eurovision 2010 Flashmob dance” that
The single «One life» feat Kelly Rowland sold multi platinum and has almost 15 million views on youtube.

Norwegian Rap Duo Madcon Hits the Charts, written by Tor Kjolberg