Saturday, July 20

Hungarian Rapper’s Bandwagon Finds Unlikely New Driver

“I’m in the middle of this whole thing, and even I find it hard to explain what happened,” Mr. Toth said. “People cheer for him like they cheer for the Hungarian national football team.”

Politics, however, has destroyed Azahriah’s chances of representing her country in Europe’s musical equivalent of the World Cup, the Eurovision Song Contest. Authorities, alarmed by Eurovision’s reputation as Europe’s biggest gay event, ended Hungary’s participation in the annual competition in 2020.

“It would have been amazing if I could have won Eurovision as a straight white guy,” Azahriah said.

David Sajo, entertainment director for Telex, a popular Hungarian online news site, said he was not a big fan, but praised Azahriah for broadening Hungarian musical horizons through her mix of Afrobeat, Caribbean ska, Latin music and other genres that are “pretty basic and generic in the West, but unique here.”

Sajo said Azahriah’s big break really came in 2022 with a scandal that could have ended many other careers. After a concert at a provincial pancake festival, a video appeared online showing the artist having sex backstage with a fan.