Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lost in lyrical translation

A couple of days ago Thomas and I booked our first event in Munich. Shortly after we arrive next month, we'll be attending the Fantastischen Vier (a famous German hip hop group) concert here:

Olympiahalle in Munich
Fanta 4 (for short)  has been around since the early 1990s and still has a strong following. I fell in love with their music several years ago (pre-Thomas) when a German friend started playing the song Troy on a road trip to Mexico. Even though I had no idea what the lyrics meant, I found myself rocking out to it and hopelessly trying to sing along.

I started to like German hip hop so much that I went out and bought tons of songs from other German artists like Fettes Brot, Glashaus, Celina and Esther & Sepalot. And the list goes on. In fact, right now I'm camped out on the empty living room floor, ghetto blasting some Fünf Sterne Deluxe on my iPhone.

Back then, it didn't matter that I had no idea what they were singing about. Unlike my favorite English songs, the lyrics didn't matter one bit. I just picked songs based on how they sounded. That is, of course, until I came across this hilarious Dutch commercial for language training (note: totally NSFW). Yeah, that was the day I decided to start learning German.


  1. Love the video :). I've never heard of Fanta 4 before, or German hip hop for that matter, now I'm very intrigued. I asked my German fiance if he knew about them and he said "of course". I can't believe he's been keeping this from me :), will definitely have to check it out.

  2. What an excellent blog! My wife grew up as an American ex-pat in Munich and took me there for our honeymoon...and I have been trying to find a way to move there since! Thank you for letting me live vicariously through your experience, cats and all! Keep up the writing...while I too have no idea what Fanta4 are saying in their songs, German hip-hop is very fun. MIA, a german punk-hiphop group, did a crazy cover of the East German national anthem after the fall of the wall that has the same hyper-rhythm feel. Olympiapark is really nice aside from concerts...enjoy!

  3. @Expat - Depending on you musical tastes, here are a few other groups worth checking to: Massive Töne, Juli, Xavier Naidoo (and the band he was part of Söhne Mannheims) and Max Herre. The last one had a song you might like about Stuttgart. I think it's called Erste Liebe.

    @Trigintius - Thanks! I haven't heard of MIA, but I will check them out. I hope you and your wife find a way to move to move back to Germany! :)