DIE FANTASTISCHEN VIER
Twenty-five years ago, the German rap scene was probably "on fire" for the first time - as the kids would say today. At that time and for some time now, the landscape was home to such renowned greats as Blitzmob and Jan Delay. Die Fantastischen Vier, or Fanta 4 for short, also came from the German rap scene. But somehow the four guys from Stuttgart with their breakthrough hit "Die Da?!" and the associated commercial success had managed to be frowned upon by their colleagues while Bravo was loved.
Not what one would hope for from what was meant to be a hit single and subsequent album. Fortunately, Smudo, Thomas D., Hausmarke aka Michi Beck and Andy Ypsilon finally managed to combine commercial success and authenticity with their fourth album "Lauschgift".
The deserved recognition from the scene and from the fans is totally justified. "Lauschgift", still the masterpiece of the band for many people, contains absolute musical highlights like the first Fanta 4 number one hit "Sie ist weg", the Rödelheim-Hartreim diss "Was geht" and the party must-have "Populär".
In places "Lauschgift" is perhaps inspired by the overseas rap of the early nineties, but at that time it was miles ahead of the German competition. But the album not only prepared the way for bands like Absoluten Beginners or Freundeskreis to become huge success. Rather, "Lauschgift" also managed to give each of the four Fantas an individual profile as an artist. Suddenly, Smudo, Thomas D., Hausmarke aka Michi Beck and Andy Ypsilon were household names - even far away from their band and their joint hits.
Why we love "Lauschgift" so much? Quite simple. The album, which made rap socially acceptable in Germany, captures an exciting moment in German rap history. Each of the songs is a statement, conveys an attitude to life and inspires through and through - and not just to get up and shake your booty. It is an album that tastes of the spirit of the times. A spirit of the times that has managed to remain topical to this day.
Picture credit: Die Fantastischen Vier – “Sie Ist Weg” © SME