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Posts Tagged ‘german rap

Hip Hop from Germany Part 3

“Mikrophontest Eins, Zwo”

Part 3 of my german rap music posts (part 1 & part 2, background informations about german rap here & here), not focusing on the very first days of hip hop in Germany, but more on the hip hop of the second half of the nineties. If you want to hear the very first wave of hip hop from Germany, visit the awesome leave your nine at home blog, there you can find some of the finest tunes from that time (1, 2, 3, 4), my selection contains more the second wave. Epicentres of the evolving hip hop scene were Heidelberg (and some other towns near it) and Hamburg. I think the reason why both had an avantgarde scene of hip hop in Germany are their histories. Heidelberg is since the end of the second world war and the defeat of Nazi-Germany the most important US-Army base in Germany until today. Thousands of GIs were stationed in the small town (140.000 inhabitants) over all the decades, brought US-american culture to Germany, from chewing gum to Rock´n´Roll, later Soul and Hip Hop. The situation of Hamburg in the north of the country is similar, but the reasons are different. The stationed soldiers from the Anti-Nazi coalition also did play an role, Hamburg was under rule of Great Britain after the war, but the bigger city with 1,8 million inhabitants and it´s function as the most important harbour in Germany always was a cosmopolitan city, with connections to the whole world and of course influenced continuously by it. Youths living in that cities much earlier got in contact with hip hop culture and the scenes had more time to evolve. No surprise that both were the epicentres of the young hip hop scene, not only with people that consumed hip hop, but own bands and gigs.

Eins Zwo from Hamburg were part of the influential local scene, their DJ Rabauke was the tour-DJ from the famous group Fettes Brot before he teamed up with Dendemann as Eins Zwo. Their first EP was released 1997 and together with their 1999 full-length debut “Gefährliches Halbwissen” both were milestones of the second wave of hip hop with lyrics in German. Most of the bands of that wave came from Hamburg and were part of the Mongo Klikke (crew), which established with their lyrics some words of the local northern slang in the whole country. The Mongo Klikke (Absolute Beginner, Samy Deluxe, Eins Zwo, Illo 77, Ferris MC, DJ Stylewarz and many many more) existed from 1997 to 2002, splitted up after they became so famous, that groups the others never had heard about before reclaimed to be part of the Mongo Klikke.

The “Discjokeys” EP is the last release from Eins Zwo, the title track is from their second full-length “Zwei”, plus two more previously unreleased tracks and one instrumental, as well as a fine remix of “discjockeys”. After the EP Eins Zwo surprisingly splitted up, MC Dendemann is releasing solo records until today, DJ Rabauke is a house DJ. On their second record the beats are more complicated, tricky, with more edges and now really perfect cuts and breaks from the DJ. They were famous for their fluently changes between cuts and raps and the lyrics set new standards in german hip hop, intelligent, eloquent and humorous. On “Rabeneltern” the second half of the former duo Tobi & Das Bo is featured, debating together with Dendemann about good beats and that the beats get more and more simple again. And sadly they were right, german hip hop rapidly collapsed and today only few acts from that golden age of hip hop remain. Today german rap is full of gangsta bullshit and the beats, the flows, the lyrics are torture.

The first hit from Tobi & Das Bo were their participation with Fettes Brot, a few years later they were part of Fünf Sterne Deluxe. Das Bo also did some solo work and his song “türlich türlich” was the first which introduced Miami Bass to german hip hop, but especially in the video (filmed at a beach in Hamburg/North-Germany, were it is cold and rainy most time of the year) he made fun of it. Another interesting music video from that “golden age” of Hamburg hip hop is the “Hand aufs Herz” single from the Eins Zwo´s debut full length (1999), in which really everybody from the Hamburg/Mongo Klikke takes part – and they´re so unbelievable young, funny to see this again after all the years.

The EP is just a little teaser, a small appetizer – more hip hop from Hamburg after the holidays, enjoy yours.

Ich bin der Chef hier und schließe zu.

(file is down, leave a comment if you wish a reup)

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Ein Artikel aus der Jüdischen Zeitung von Gideon Ancel zum Phänomen Bushido, der zwar etwas daran leidet das er die Form des Battles im Hip Hop nicht zu erfassen vermag und dementsprechend auch keine Kritik an diesem entwickelt, sondern alles gesagte für bare Münze nimmt. Ganz so falsch liegt er aber auch nicht alles Geäußerte wörtlich zu nehmen, scheint doch darin auch die dahinterstehende Ideologie des Sprechers klar auf. Der Bad Blog berichtet hier über aktuelle Nationalsozialismus Bezüge im deutschen Rap und hat vor einiger Zeit sich auch schonmal des Gesabbels von Bushido angenommen (1,2). In seinem Urteil etwas voreilig und ungenau, sowie die nötige Trennschärfe bei Differenzen im deutschen Hip Hop nicht immer aufweisend, aber trotzdem lesenswert.

Mehr als Gesten der Gewalt
Im Internet oder beim Konzert: Klarer Hass in der deutschen Rapszene gegen Juden, Homosexuelle und sich selbst

Auf dem muskulösen Unterarm eines Typen im Einzelkämpfer-Look ist mit martialischen Buchstaben «Berlin» zu lesen. Das haushohe Werbebanner wirft seine Botschaft in den verkehrsreichen Straßenalltag der Stadt. Erst aus der Distanz wird deutlicher, wer der abgebildete Mann in unmittelbarer Nähe zum Berliner Bahnhof «Zoologischer Garten» ist. Das Konterfei des Musikers Bushido soll anscheinend eine Werbebotschaft für «Berlin» sein. Und für sich selbst und sein neues Hip-Hop-Album natürlich auch. Doch der Schein trügt gewaltig, als ginge es dem 28-jährigen Abgebildeten auch darum, den guten Geist der Tourismusbranche für die Stadt zu markieren.

Die massenwirksam aufgehübschte Gewaltgeste auf dem übermenschlich großen Werbetransparent steht imgrunde für eine Blaupause menschenverachtender Gewaltbereitschaft. Doch diese Geste – nämlich jederzeit bereit zu sein, zuzuschlagen und loszulegen gegen wen auch immer – ist im Kontext jener eindeutigen Hasstiraden, die Bushido in den letzten Wochen und Jahren insbesondere gegen Homosexuelle, gegen Juden, gegen Frauen und Rapper-Kollegen vom Stapel gelassen hat, längst erschreckende deutsche Wirklichkeit geworden. Es reicht in diesem Zusammenhang freilich nicht aus, einen einzelnen Rapper kritisch aufs Korn zu nehmen, wie es nach Bushidos jüngstem Open-Air-Auftritt vor Tausenden jugendlicher Fans am Brandenburger Tor in den Medien bundesweit geschah. Im Rahmen des Events «Schau nicht weg» gegen Gewalt an Schulen, war Bushido dort live aufgetreten.

Schon vor dem Auftritt und in der Nachberichterstattung hatte der rappende Deutsch-Tunesier von der Presse sein Fett wegbekommen. Er wird mittlerweile als rechter «Rüpel-Rapper» beschrieben. Wobei Bushido noch eine vergleichsweise «moderate» und kommerzgeschulte Vorgehensweise gegen die Objekte seiner Wut an den Tag legt. Die Hoffnung jedenfalls, dass er diesmal doch den gutherzigen Künstler, der für Frieden an der Schule sei, mimen sollte, wie es die Eventveranstalter vielleicht erhofft hatten, erwies sich, wie im Grunde zu erwarten, als Makulatur. Solange Rapper wie Bushido, Massiv, Azad oder Bözemann von erwachsenen Erziehungsberechtigten lediglich als «große, böse Kinder» abgeklatscht werden (so gehört beim «Schau nicht weg»-Event), solange muss man besorgt sein.

>>> weiterlesen

Hip Hop from Germany Part 2

And another german hip hop record. German hip hop? Kinderzimmer Productions MC Textor makes the statement ” a definition of hip hop is not the subject” (“Eine Definition von Hip Hop ist nicht das Thema”) on this record from 2002. The third longplayer from Kinderzimmer Productions, or the fourth – the real debut record had to be pulped because of some un-authorized samples – is hip hop and is not. The music is clearly hip hop, the tracks are sample monsters, from jazzy to raw. DJ Quasi Modo´s beats are tricky, but not in spite of this you will need your dancing shoes, this beat&sample universum is the reason why.

Kinderzimmer Productions don´t care of the hip hop scene since more than 10 years (the actual record “Asphalt” is from July 2007), the trends, the changing opinions , they just do their own thing and they are one of this tipical phenomenons: their influence is immense, popular artists name them regulary, but the kids don´t know them and they don´t sell that much records. From this point of view they aren´t hip hop, they are a stepson of hip hop.

Maybe it´s cause of their lyrics, this genius lyrics. MC Textor is not just rapping or telling stories, he writes poetry and when he starts with alpha, he ends with omega. They don´t participate in the “who´s da biggest in da game”, they just don´t care about things like that and the lyrics are mirroring this, maybe too much for some narrow-minded guys. Ok, sometimes they do participate, i.e. with “deck das dach ab” – a furios satire featuring Switcheroony, having a voice like a drunken white-trash-guy from a trailer park.

An underestimated record.

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.

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.


always open minded! feel free to leave a comment if you like or dislike the music, the review or just this blog in general. make the monologue a dialogue! (and receiving some responses keeps me motivated)

normally I try to post new stuff once a week, quality not quantity, so the front page shows you the posts of the last month, but there is a lot more to discover, just click your way thru the older entries.

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