Disclaimer: Those who know this genre, please forgive me for simplifying things A LOT, and probably getting even more wrong and for certain omitting key players. This is not my music, nor my scene, and I have no clue what I’m writing about.
For quite a while, HipHop and Rap were something that had to be imported from the US. But at some point, things changed, and germans discovered that they could use their own mothertongue to make beautiful music, and to express themselves in the manner of of what they saw on american tv.
Due to demographic reasons (black people make up less than 1% of the population), a lot of this was and is still being done by people who are as white as snow.
Except, some took the thing with the mothertongue a bit too far:
That was Fettes Brot, who sing a lot in low german, their local dialect, performing their very own cover of Naughty by Nature.
At roughly the same time, another group emerged onto the scene: Die Fantastischen Vier:
Yes, these were the 90es. The FantaVier (as they got nicknamed quite fast) would stay on as the grandmasters of german Hip Hop, with a career spanning several decades.
Still, it was a glorious time where everyone and their little kid sister tried to make it big:
(one of the catchphrases in this song actually translates to „you’re a babe, I want to drink your bathwater!“. Yes, german hip hop was that gangsta)
Further up north, people were experimenting with soul and R&B:
And some of the experiments invariably included cover versions of beloved german cultural assets:
And some invariably tried to emulate their idols from „the ghetto“, but still sticked to the language they knew:
But a lot of these artists „grew up“, and became fixtures in the german music scene, with songs that were beloved for a reason. But the fondness for not-so-straight videos continued. So, the Fanta4 brought as a song full of acronyms and clever alliterations:
In the meantime, Fettes Brot sings about the hopeless love of teenage boys, hiring a marching band to illustrate the … ach, what would I know:
And then there is the plain bizarre: Bettina, please get dressed:
(In case you wonder: Bettina was the host of a late-night call-in tv game show, which exhorted people to call expensive phone numbers..)
And the guy with the ghetto ambitions? Well, he is part of 5 Stars Deluxe, and they are wonderful:
As wonderful as Seeed, with their… thing:
And to tie everything together: Here’s a grown-up Hip-Hopper with an ape marching band: