Top Ten Things to Know About German Hip Hop
Maybe one reason why this whole Angry White Boy thing of the early 2000s was not seen as negatively as in the US.
I have to thank Kollegah. Since the early 2010s, the lyrical quality of German rappers has reached an enourmous 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.
Kollegah's influence in terms of both his multisyllabic rhyming/techniques and his sinister pimo stage persona not only drew acclaim on him. Several indie rappers felt that German hip hop has changed too much to an overblown blockbuster and that people cared too much about lyrical skills and selling an image instead of expressing themselves and have fun. So they adapted the American trap subgenre, especially Drake and Young Thug.
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.
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.
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.
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 is very dominant in the German rap scene.
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.
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.
While American hip hop starts recovering from this issue - Young Thug wearing dresses, insults getting less, 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.