Top Ten Things to Know About German Hip Hop

The Top Ten
1 Most German Rappers are White, Many are Muslim

Maybe one reason why this whole Angry White Boy thing of the early 2000s was not seen as negatively as in the US.

2 Since Kollegah Became Famous, Multisyllabic Rhyming is Kind of the Norm

I have to thank Kollegah. Since the early 2010s, the lyrical quality of German rappers has reached an enormous level. There was a time where you had to rhyme multisyllabically in order to be accepted by the hip hop community. In the meantime, it is not such a necessity anymore due to Trap, but still the technical level is very high.

3 Trap Has a Much Better Reputation, Being More of a Counter Movement

Kollegah's influence, in terms of both his multisyllabic rhyming techniques and his sinister pimp stage persona, not only drew acclaim to him. Several indie rappers felt that German hip hop had changed too much into an overblown blockbuster. They believed people cared too much about lyrical skills and selling an image instead of expressing themselves and having fun. So they adapted the American trap subgenre, especially Drake and Young Thug.

4 You Can Be Very Gimmicky and Still Be Considered a Great MC

Most German rappers portray a stage persona that has little to do with their private life. This especially includes acclaimed and popular ones. It has been like this for years and has not really been questioned until the trap movement of the mid-2010s.

5 It's an Album Genre

I often hear American rappers have hit singles, but their albums aren't as successful. In German hip hop, singles by popular and famous German rappers often don't even hit the Top 100, while the album that contains the singles tops the charts. It's also a genre that still sells a whole lot of CDs.

If you look at the list of Germany's number one hits of 2015, you have two German hip hop songs but sixteen German hip hop albums. The genre still sells a lot of physical copies.

6 Several Popular German Rappers Wear Masks or Costumes

Don't make the mistake of dismissing the dude with the Spongebob costume, or the one with the panda mask or the one with the silver skull mask or the one with the green alien mask or the one. They are no novelty acts but probably multi-millionaires with five-star reviews.

7 Pop Rap Existed Before Thug Rap

In the 90s, there were pop rap groups like Die Fantastischen Vier or Tic Tac Toe that made earworm pop songs that just happened to have rapping in it. Thug rap was not a thing until Bushido made it popular in the early 2000s and since then, it has been very dominant in the German rap scene.

8 The Beats Sound Like Hollywood Blockbuster Soundtracks

German hip hop does not usually have a strong soul inspiration. In the late 2000s to the early 2010s, overproduced orchestral beats started trending, and they still are a thing today.

9 You Don't Diss Bushido or the German Hip Hop Community Will Despise You

Bushido put German hip hop on the map in the early 2000s. Before, it was only pop rap. Bushido is the godfather of German rap. Even though his style is not exactly up-to-date, each of his albums is a blockbuster, and if he doesn't like you, you're doomed.

10 It Unfortunately Hasn't Overcome Its Homophobic Stance

While American hip hop starts recovering from this issue - Young Thug wearing dresses, insults getting less common, Macklemore releasing a successful pro-gay anthem, each slightest homophobic lyric getting media coverage - it's still common in German hip hop and doesn't even get noticed that much. I don't even think they all mean it (some do, though), but it's just part of their stage persona.

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