Though you may be more familiar with the country yodels of rural Germany or the dark pounding industrial of Germany’s successful rock bands, there is of course middle ground. Hip hop is not commonly associated with the country and yet there are various well established artists who make music in this genre, despite the rest of the world thinking otherwise. Just as the way that hip hop works worldwide, much of the globe is catching up with what the US are producing since they are the hub for the music and culture movement. However new age pioneers of both underground styles and more radio friendly types all exist within Germany’s borders. To outsiders it may seem odd to hear the German accent over beats but it only takes a moment to see that the rhythm and style of these performers are on point. Here is a shortlist of some of the most well known of the German hip-hop scene.
With music videos on MTV and songs on the radio its not easy to avoid the sounds of Hamburg-born singer songwriter Jan Delay. Originating from the popular hip hop group Absolute Beginner, his work as a solo artist is equally as popular if not more so. Known for his slightly nasal delivery as well as his mix of reggae and funk that he constantly applies to his records, Delay has become a superstar in the German hip hop scene despite pushback from underground artists. The fun addition of pop style blues that back many of his tracks make them easy on the publics ears which is likely why he struggles to be a role model to up and coming hip hoppers.
Brought into the hip hop scene through his love of Graffiti, this half Tunisian rapper has risen to great heights. With the gritty and graphic style of urban art following him all the way into even his most recent music videos, it seems Bushido never lost his image. With aggressive yet interesting beats backing his tracks he talks of modern issues and pop culture with just enough bravado you would expect from a hip hop performer. With lyrics, performance and production under his belt its not hard to see why he has become one of the country’s poster boys for rap.
Originally a professional wrestler Eko fresh eventually moved to rap where he made use of his ability to craft thought provoking lyrics. Originally apart of a rap duo he took solo flight and began making a name for himself though not without taking a stab at those he felt weren’t representing themselves right. Causing a ruckus in the rap community, Fresh continues to create tracks that point in the direction of politics and social issues. His boundary breaking music video for Aber pulls no punches in showing the perspective of the different cultures that cohabit not so easily within Germany. While beginning as what seems like an attack, the video and accompanying song opens up to try and create a unity, which is something, that hip hop very rarely finds itself doing.