Top Ten Painfully Honest Descriptions of Great German Rappers
Background: Kollegah is one of Germany's most acclaimed rappers (multisyllabic rhyming, doubletime skills, the most clever word play on earth, advanced German,...) who often portrays the stage persona of a pimp. On the picture above you can see that now he looks pretty cool and credible... but in the 2000s, that was not the case. He looked like a little white rich boy who desperately wanted to be thug (check the cover artwork for "Boss der Bosse"). Luckily, his rapping was so great that nobody paid attention to his looks and he was instantly praised and taken seriously.
Background: The man behind SpongeBozz is Sun Diego, a rapper who didn't have a good reputation and was not considered good. While his rapping itself was complemented, he was panned for his sung choruses, use of autotune and feminine attitude, and was often made fun of. After the negative reception, he created a secret identity: SpongeBozz (wearing a modified Spongebob suit). He improved very very very much, took part in the very popular battle rap tournament JuliensBlogBattle, won the competition and became one of Germany's most famous rappers of the 2010s and the archenemy of Kollegah - still as SpongeBozz. In 2017, he revealed to be Sun Diego.
Background: Bushido brought German rap on the mainstream map in the early 2000s. A young man with migration background who rapped tales about the dark life in the ghetto. That was what many people wanted to hear back then. Before him, German rap was mainly pop rap and not remotely as successful.
While modern German rap owes everything to Bushido, he is also a product of his time. This guy is a multi-millionaire rapping about the hood, but with more polished production, better German skills and less surprises. He still is extremely relevant, but he has to face that in the meantime, there are other rappers like Kollegah with not only much better lyrical skills but also more originality.
Background: Shindy's laid back style is a nice and refreshing alternative from the dark thug rap that makes the majority of Germany's rap scene. Obviously many people thought so, after all, he's famous and since his debut each of his albums topped the charts. I am a fan myself. But seriously, he would never win any rap competition, because if he wasn't backed by cool, fun beats setting the laid back mood... his unusually slow flow and delivery would sound pretty drowzy.
Background: extremely atmospheric horrorcore rapper who won the online battlerap tournament JuliensBlogBattle. Also, he wears a duck mask.
That photo wow.
Background: A German horrorcore rapper with clown makeup and generally a similar style, even though he's more like Twiztid. ICP's reception in Germany couldn't be much better, and Hollywood Hank obviously has a similar taste.
Before Bushido made German hip hop mainstream with his gangsta rap, Kool Savas's mix of underground and pop rap was much praised and he was considered one of the greatest rappers internationally by German critics (Laut.de even said he is better than 2Pac and Jay-Z in one review). His flow, the attitude, the feel of it - it was new, and German hip hop was still young and inexperienced when he came along with something so professional, fun and rap-ish.
He surely was highly influential and paved the way for rap artists since then. But almost 2 centuries have passed since then and German rap has brought us way more exciting and lyrically more complex rappers. Rappers with immense word play, insane doubletime flows, multisyllabic rhymes and more charisma.
Kool Savas can't keep up with that if you look at it honestly. But nostalgia will always get him praise for all of his albums, and many still consider him the "King of Rap". I guess they love he still is oldschool and sounds just ...more
Background: Sido is the other guy next to Bushido who made German rap mainstream. Like Eminem's alter ego Slim Shady, he was outrageous, crass, crude and the nightmare of every parent, but still humorous. Then, as he got more and more famous, he broke out of this role more and more often, put down his trademark skull mask, and began rapping about more serious topics - and was successful. Then he completely abandoned his old style, collaborated with pop artists, his music became soft, charming and intelligent - until 2016. He figured that he might have lost a lot of his former fans in the hip hop crowd who once called him revolutionary. So he put on his mask and was crass again - but also continued to rap intelligent, probably not wanting to lose any of those two fanbases.
Background: As Marteria, his main project, he is an indie rapper and conscious rapper, soft and poppy, who gets mainstream attention with his lyricism and his laid back attitude. He has had hit singles every radio listener knows.
As Marsimoto, his side project, he pitches his voice chipmunk style, raps surrealy and wild, has weird and experimental electronic beats and openly consumes cannabis (probably while recording).
While Marteria has solid reviews, Marsimoto is considered a mastermind by critics.
Background: a very popular pop rapper and singer, more pop than hip hop but still with enough rapping to call him a rapper, who happens to wear a panda mask. My mother asked me if he was a furry, but I doubt he is.