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Posts Tagged ‘deutscher Hip Hop

Hip Hop from Germany Part 1

Some people requested german (conscious) hip hop after reading the posting about Bözemann (“The Bad Man”) and the actual tendencies in german hip hop. Ok, here we go: Beginner´s last record “Blast Action Heroes” from 2003. And yeah, I can see all the guys rolling their eyes and screaming “why didn´t you take this and that group/record?” Yes, there are a lot of good and legendary records, but I decieded to choose this one. Why? Because it is one of my personal favourites and the Beginner are on the spot since 1992. In this year they released the first EP, but they still were named “Absolute Beginners” and rapped in English. A few EPs and years later they changed the name to “Absolute Beginner” (just the german translation) and started to write lyrics in german. Because of this decision 3 of 7 band members left the Beginner. 1996 first longplayer “Flashnizm” was released and the tour with live-instrumentation strengthened the Beginners reputation as an awesome live act. Two years later second record “Bambule” hit the national charts, but the Beginner – likeable as ever – never did act like super stars or rap heroes until today. On “Bambule” they shrunk to a trio, consisting of Eizi Eiz (a.k.a. Jan Delay), Denyo and DJ Mad. After a remix record in 2000, Jan Delay and Denyo started solo projects. Jan Delay a fantastic reggae band and Denyo recorded some laid-back hip hop tracks. A second record from Denyo a.k.a. Denyo 77 has been released 2005, another Jan Delay monster 2007 – now changed the sound from reggae to funk. And beside all this, Denyo took part in the Brothers Keepers project. This was formed 2001 from some afro-german artists, after a new wave of racist violence hit non-whites in Germany and NeoNazis killed several people. Nowadays the Brothers Keepers engage mainly against racism and sexism within hip hop, but fascist youth groups and racist consens is still a serious problem in some areas of Germany.

Well, soloprojects killed the Beginner? No, 2003 “Blast Action Heroes” showed in an impressive way the state of art for the german hip hop scene. The Beginner are on of the last remaining groups from the last century, their hometown Hamburg – once the Mecca of hip hop in Germany – lost this status to Berlin and gangsta rap rules the scene now. But the Beginner still drop smart lines and fresh beats, this is the opposite of dull! You are not sure if you should give this a chance? Ok, bang your head to “Fäule” or smile to the feel-god hit “Gustav Gans” – by the way: this vid is not silly, it´s a adequate answer to all this gangsta-rap bullshit. Hammerhart? Yeah “Hammerhart“!

Blast Action Heroes – leave some feedback on this record, I´m interested if this ill record also flashes without understanding the eloquent lyrics.

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In the 90ties of the last century german hip hop reached the national charts. Most of the artists had funny and/or serious lyrics, both presented in intelligent ways. Only a few acts were able to stay at the top of the international hiphop-standard, some of them release fine records until today. But since a few years german hiphop has changed, now mainly called rap by it artists and dominated from gangsta-macho-bullshit. The lyrics are full of sexism, homophobia, racism and glorify the life as a (wannabe-) gangsta. The “artists” preach violence against women and minorities, rapping about the tough life in german ghettos (of course there are no ghettos you might compare with the situation of some US-cities, when gangsta rap did rise at the beginning of the nineties in the USA). Well, business as usual???

Some of these rappers, children of immigrants, mix this gangsta attitude with their muslim identity. “Massiv” from Berlin is not only selling thousands of records, he also drops lines comparing himself with the Taliban. Okay, his lifestyle and his bling bling rap contradicts with the goals of the Taliban, but some sort of german rappers use the vocabulary of the Jihad and glorify antisemitic terrorists. Now “Bözemann” (The Bad Man) from Stuttgart, not as half as popular as “Massiv”, published a battlerap-track on youtube, disses “Massiv” in harsh ways. In the crappy and violent video he raps – of course – uncountable homophobic and violent lines. So once again: business as usual??

Even if you accept this as standard, the “Bözemann” track is not business as usual. At the end of the video he buried “Massive”, putting up a cross (but “criticizing” the rapper from Berlin to drag the Koran in the mud and saying he is not a real muslim) with his name and a Magen David. At his website “Bözemann” wrote:

Massive […] for sure you are not a muslim, you are a jew

(Du bist mit Sicherheit kein Moslem du bist mit Sicherheit Jude)

We are writing the year 2007 and jew again is an invective. And the jewish producer Ilan from Berlin was marked as a “geldgeilerJude” [a Jew, be dead keen on money]. Who did say this? Fler and Spencer, two also very popular german gangsta rapper.

60 years after the Holocaust, antisemitism is a problem of muslim immigrants in Germany? No, for sure not. Without the white, german suburban middleclass kids this kind of rap would never be that big. And the antisemitism from this “artists” is falling on fertile ground. Antisemitic “Neue Deutsche Welle”?

If you understand german, read this interesting interview on antisemitism in german rap.


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