German hip hop

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German Hip Hop refers to hip hop music produced in Germany. Elements of American hip hop culture, such as graffiti art and breakdancing, diffused into Western Europe in the early 1980s. The first German hip hop artists emerged in the mid-1980s as part of an underground music scene. Early underground artists included Cora E. and Advanced Chemistry. It was not until the early 1990s that German hip hop entered the mainstream, as groups like Die Fantastischen Vier and the Rödelheim Hartreim Projekt gained popularity. German hip hop was heavily influenced by films which led to a strong emphasis on cultural elements such as graffiti and breakdancing, rather than just the music itself.[1]




Commercialization of American rap and hip hop began in the early 1980s and began coming to Germany as early as 1983. The influence of film was critical on German hip hop's early development, leading to a strong emphasis on the more heavily visual aspects of the culture like graffiti-art and break dancing. It soon percolated into Germany through recordings, cinema, and the American soldiers stationed there. Through such films as Wild Style and Beat Street, German youths developed a taste for breakdancing, spraypainting, and freestyling, thus beginning hip hop's first wave of popularity. GLS United, formed by three widely known radio moderators, was perhaps the first German hip hop group, releasing the first German-language hip hop song "Rappers Deutsch" in 1980 although they were just a novelty act created for this one song. These movies led the people of Germany to realize that hip-hop was much more than just rap music, but was very much a cultural movement in and of itself. Though at the time of the release of the movie, it did not have a great overall impact, once reunification began in 1990, the hip-hop scene began to flourish.[2] As one German remembers on a visit to the US in 1986, things were much different. There was no thing like MTV in Europe, as the scene was still very much underground. And there aren't any hip hop only clubs there, as there are in the States.[3]

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