After last month’s German music feature of VSK with some old school hip hop, this month let’s practice German with some modern rap by way of the duo Audio88 & Yassin. The Berlin-based pair may already be familiar to fans of KIZ, as they made an appearance on the trio’s stellar last album (Hurra die Welt geht unter). And the favor has been returned. This month, let’s get a taste for a different flavor of German hip hop with the music of Audio88 & Yassin!
About Audio88 & Yassin
Before Audio88 (born Florian Kerntopf) and Yassin’s rap partnership came together, the two were making music independently. This changed in the late noughts when the two met via a mutual friend and connected via, as a clear sign of the times, MySpace. Since then, the duo has primarily worked together as a team, releasing six joint albums.
While the two do generally are a team, they continue to work independently as well. Ten years after their first collaboration, Yassin released his debut solo album, YPSILON, in mid-January 2019. He’ll be touring across Germany in support of the new album this spring. Audio88 even makes a special guest appearance on the album to support his buddy.
Audio88, meanwhile, has released three solo albums: 2007’s Wer schweigt, gibt recht, 2014’s Der letzte Idiot, and 2017’s Sternzeichen Hass.
As a pair, Audio88 and Yassin have released six albums: 2009’s Zwei Herrengedeck, bitte, 2010’s Nochmal zwei Herrengedeck, bitte and Das Gleiche wie immer, bitte, 2015’s Normaler Samt, 2016’s Halleluja, and 2017’s Die Herrengedecke. The most recent is a remaster and repacking of the first three albums. These albums are in addition to countless features on tracks for their colleagues.
The duo’s two most recent original releases — Normaler Samt and Halleluja — offer two similar but distinctly different sounds. Normaler Samt sounds modern and a nod to the hip hop that’s come before. While not quite a concept album, Halleluja maintains a heavy, often burdensome religious tone straight off the bat with the title track. There are touches of autotune and occasionally the melodies stray towards jazzy or soulful. But what the albums have in common is that they are instrumentally both relatively simple and stripped down. There are no big bells and whistles with production.
But when things seem uncomplicated, they usually aren’t, meaning Audio88 and Yassin work all that much harder to make it seem so simple. The focus is on their rhymes, not on the instrumentation. And lyrically it’s a mixture of irony, razor-sharp sarcasm, and social commentary. No one or thing is off limits.
Listen for yourself with this month’s practice German with music feature of Audio88 & Yassin!
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
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