Terrifying German Culture Hour: Hip Hop

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:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfWyo2mqXnw

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:

https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​Q​G​-​z​P​g​y​Q​DD8

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:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I7JOglOqtM

(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:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8gNzJcpHW0

And some of the experiments invariably included cover versions of beloved german cultural assets:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIgQovuYiR8

And some invariably tried to emulate their idols from „the ghetto“, but still sticked to the language they knew:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-AUUWKgCX4

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:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUV3KvnvT-w

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:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rigxc8puTts

And then there is the plain bizarre: Bettina, please get dressed:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDlC8k1SOAs

(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:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oVOE7fOgUw

As wonderful as Seeed, with their… thing:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yWU0lFghxU

And to tie everything together: Here’s a grown‐up Hip‐Hopper with an ape marching band:

Aktivieren Sie JavaScript um das Video zu sehen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdtLCfEcPL4

Ein Gedanke zu „Terrifying German Culture Hour: Hip Hop

  1. I think you missed the really, really terrifying start of Hip Hop here in Germany. In the beginning the tracks followed the same pattern as „Der Hund von Baskerville“/„Paranoid“. Probably the first commercially successful track was „Willem -Wat?“ in 1983, a cover of Captain Sensible’s „Wot“ with silly German lyrics about a crossing keeper encoutering ET: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8LG8HgHHcw
    In the same year in Austria the Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung had their first hit single „Alpenrap“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l563OzYvZXw
    This comedy theme stuck with German HipHop for a very long time making it a quite belittled music genre

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.