This month we’re going old school to learn German with the rap stylings of Das Verbale Style Kollektiv. Dust off your boombox, your turntable, and maybe grab a piece of cardboard for breakdancing! The group swears off popular trends and styles in order to return to the roots of hip hop. The sounds that, undoubtedly, made them fall in love with rap in the first place. 2018 saw Verbales Style Kollektiv release their debut record, Wo die wilden Kerle flowen. So this month, let’s learn German with the music of Das Verbale Style Kollektiv!
About Das Verbale Style Kollektiv
Although they have only just released their debut full-length record, Das Verbale Style Kollektiv, or VSK, was founded in 2013. And while cliches have taught us that too many cooks in the kitchen are a bad thing, clearly the same can’t be said for MCs. On paper, the group is made up of DJ Ratzefummel and six MCs: MC Schreibmaschine, Streichholz MC, Flowbodda, Doktor Podwich, Masta Maik, and MC Bleistift. Just a group of hip hop enthusiasts looking to rock old school without any fussiness or ornamentation. Right?
Well, not exactly.
In reality, VSK is the (sort of) side project of popular Berlin rap crew KIZ: Maxim Drüner (Schreibmaschine), Tarek Ebéné (Flowbodda), and Nico Seyfrid (Streichholz). The trio join DJ Zettt (Ratzefummel), Vork (Podwich), Cannibal Rob (Maik), and Bleistift to form an entirely new group.
The Music of VSK
Impressively, the first album from this group of “nobodies” (wink, wink) debuted at number eight on the German album charts. And it’s easy to see why. VSK take having fun seriously and the album is thirteen catchy and easy-going tracks with memorable hooks that are sure to get stuck in your head along. Add to that three skits. At times it’s difficult to know if they’re trying to entertain you or just themselves.
Lead off singles “Schönen guten Tag” and “An alle MCees da draußen” offer a good taste of what to expect both in terms of musicality as well as personality. The music is easy to get into, likable and rich in throwback references without being overly nostalgic. The samples are frequently funk and old school R&B. Elsewhere you’ll find the crew rapping over poppy hard rock on “Die Fusion” or going all-in with an unabashed reggae sound on their ode to marijuana, “Grüner Planet.”
Similarly, the music videos for those singles don’t disappoint. “Schönen guten Tag” opens with a skit that reminds of Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock” before the group takes to the streets to rap and the robotic Flowbodda gets “delivered.” Meanwhile, on the other single, the crew face off against The Man (aka the record label) in a hip hop throwdown with competitions like spraying graffiti and BMXing.
The quick and often witty wordplay of VSK’s rhymes on Wo die wilden Kerle flowen (Where the wild guys flow) are fun, especially if you’re trying to learn the German language. Take a listen for yourself! (Just embrace the occasional English and that one verse in French by Schreibmaschine…)
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
The photo is courtesy Landstreicher Booking. This post contains affiliate links.