‘Boom-ch-boom-chick’: Entangled (Hi)stories in the German Mainstream Rap of 2018 and 2019


  • Bernhard Steinbrecher Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Musikwissenschaft




From April 2018 to December 2019, 25 German rap songs with remarkably similar sonic patterns reached the number-one position in the all-genre single charts in Austria. The article takes these songs as starting point for retracing the processes which led to the entering of this music into the glocal mainstream frame of cultural debate. It disentangles the historical backdrops, social and identity practices, as well as aesthetics that postmigrant rap artists in Austria and in Germany have successfully intermingled into their own narratives. The article argues that the two dominating beats, ‘trap’ and ‘dembow’, were able to carry and connect these idiosyncratic encounters against the background of their postcolonial charge and international popularity wave.