The purpose of this post is to introduce the band Deichkind to the international audience of music
and have a discussion on how you like them and which bands you would compare them to. I’ve seen that several of their songs have been posted here before, but they got at most 3 or 4 comments. I’m not associated with the band and wouldn’t even consider myself a loyal fan of them as I haven’t been to any of their concerts, yet. Still, I think that their beats, lyrics, and music videos are fantastic and can easily compete on a global level and deserve a larger discussion and audience.
I’ll focus on the songs for which they have produced music videos because I think that the great visuals make the songs more accessible to the non-German redditors on this sub. Also, their latest music videos have English subtitles.
Please let me know if you see any factual mistakes, disagree with my interpretations or think that this post misses any important information. HISTORY
Deichkind was formed in Hamburg in 1997 by Philipp Grütering, Malte Pittner and Bartosch „Buddy“ Jeznach. The band members constantly changed. Today, it consists of the MCs Philipp Grütering (Kryptik Joe) and Sebastian Dürre (Porky), director Henning Besser (DJ Phono, La Perla), and producer Roland Knauf. The name “Deichkind” means “dike kid”. Dikes can be found a lot in the Northern region of Germany as protection against high tides. STYLE
While they originally were a hip-hop group, they added more and more electronic elements over the years. Their lyrics are usually humorous, oftentimes sarcastic, and sometimes completely silly. While some of their songs are about hedonism, drinking, doing drugs and partying, others contain smart social commentary.
Especially since the mid-2000s, they have become notorious for their live shows during which they wear self-made costumes created out of things like garbage bags and involve the audience by surfing on them in rubber boats.
As you’ll see, their music videos are very diverse and creative.
If I had to compare them to internationally known acts, I’d say they are in some ways similar to Die Antwoord, Beastie Boys, Eminem’s Slim Shady songs but with more electronic elements… there are probably better comparisons – please comment if you can think of any! ALBUMS and SONGS Bitte ziehen sie durch
[Hotbox, please, literally Please pull through] (2000)
Their debut album which contains only hip-hop songs and skits, e.g. a guy promoting the shows and girls at Reeperbahn in Hamburg, a notorious amusement mile. Bon Voyage
: Their first single in the German charts. Chorus: “Nod with the beat and move your ass. When the Deichkind is on the mic, then Bon Voyage. Please give us more of the hot shit cause we cannot get enough of the Deichkind styles.” Fachjargon
[Jargon]: Classical late 90s rap from Germany. Noch fünf Minuten Mutti
[Five minutes more mommy] (2002)
While they were still considered a hip hop band at this point, there are more electronic beats incorporated in their songs as can be heard in the song Limit. The lyrics were still more typical for hip hop typical as they praise themselves and their musical skills a lot. The album also contains a few skits, e.g. a recorded phone call with their neighbor complaining about them playing loud music. Limit
[Limit] contains the hook: “Where am I? Already at the limit? P-O-W to the E to the R. Forward forever. Am I already at the limit? Sit down and fasten your seatbelt because nothing can hold us anymore.” Da Wo
[There where] is a country song (yes, really) featuring Lucius, a fiddler from the German country band Truck Stop (again, yes, really) which shows that the band does not take itself too seriously. Aufstand im Schlaraffenlad
[Revolt in Cockaigne] (2006)
With this album, the style of the band changed from a rap band to more of an electro party band (sometimes with social commentary). One of the best examples is the song Remmidemmi. Remmidemmi (Yippie Yippie Yeah)
[Uproar]: The song tells the story of a party at a rich kid’s house gone wrong. It starts with the words “Your parents are at a tennis tournament. You’re having a party – how nice of you! Impulsive people know no limits. Throw the furniture out of the windows, we need space to dance!”. Chorus: “Yippie Yippie Yeah Krawall und Remmidiemmi” [Turmoil and Uproar]. Ich betäube mich
[I'm knocking myself out]: The music video is constantly posted on reddit whenever the Tropical Islands Resort, a tropical theme park housed in a former airship hangar nearby Berlin is mentioned as it was filmed there. The chorus is basically just the title repeated over and over again with the male singer representing the boyfriend of the female singer complaining about her drug addiction. The video is a weight watchers commercial on LSD. Arbeit nervt
[Work sucks, literally Work is annoying] (2008) Arbeit nervt
: This song basically claims that everyone - no matter what they job have – just wants to do drugs and have sex, and that “Ehrgeiz ist die letzte Zuflucht des Versagers” [ambition is a looser’s last resort]. Notable verse: “Trucker, butlers, butchers, conductors, meter maids want to laze around, party, flirt, grope, munch. Liposuction doctors, asparagus cutters, professors also dream of nudism in rock star poses.” The video shows several photos from their live shows. Luftbahn
[Air Train]: Satire of typical boyband songs. Chorus: “We’re driving with the air train through the night where the sky of star laughs for us and all the problems on earth are far away. We feel weightless.“ Befehl von ganz unten
[Order from Down Low, literally Command from the very bottom] (2012) Leider geil
[Unfortunately awesome] lists things that feel great to do even though doing them harms yourself and/or others. It starts with the words: “I’m sorry but I have to admit that there are things in this world which are unfortunately awesome. Cars pollute, nature dies but a wicked new ride is unfortunately awesome.” Chorus: “Stop pretending. You like it as well. I’m a part of you. Look around. Look at them.” The music video is basically a compilation of funny internet clips which fit the lyrics. Some of the featured people are anonymized by “wearing” the Deichkind pyramid hat known from their live shows. Bück dich hoch
[Bend over high (untranslatable play on words for: Play up to him)]. The anthem of unsatisfied office employees. Excerpt of a verse: “We’ll have a pitch this weekend – will you join us? Think big, be active, stay healthy. Adapt, you’re nothing, believe in the team. Shut up, get to work, and earn.” Chorus: “Bend over high. Come and increase the profit. Or you’ll be sorted out. Make yourself popular with the boss, even though it may mean that you’re not yourself anymore.”. The video is a mix of The Office, Wacky Races and Mad Max. Ich hab eine Fahne
[I have a flag. (Play on words: In German, it can also mean that your breath reeks of alcohol)] was only released as a single amid the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil. Afaik, the official video was removed from YouTube but I found it on a blog (see link). It sounds like a typical one-dimensional world cup summer hit but is quite critical of the business behind football as well as misbehaving/dumb players and fans. Niveau weshalb warum
[Niveau why wherefore ("Niveau" means intellect or tastefulness; pun on Wieso? Weshalb? Warum? series of German children’s books)] (2015) Denken Sie groß
[Think big] is similar to “Bück dich hoch” but it’s more of a general extremely exaggerated motivational speech. Chorus: “Today is the day. Finally, it begins. You’re reaching your goals. Think big. A bit of megalomania cannot hurt and suddenly you can fly. Don’t give up and live the dream. You don’t need to be a genius for that. In every person lives a visionary. Release the energy.” Except of a verse: “It’s about higher, faster, further. Don’t buy weed, man; buy Jamaica. Don’t buy a townhouse; buy a suburb – and rule it as a happy warlord. Think big like the fuel consumption of a containership, then things will be better. Where’s your commitment? Where’s you spirit? Laser the world and then get rid of your glasses. You just need to decide. Please sign here.” The video starts as a YouTube tutorial and becomes more and more extravagant. Like mich am Arsch
[Like my ass (play on words: Sounds like “Leck mich am Arsch” [Lick my ass], the German equivalent of “Kiss my ass”)] makes fun of social media. Chorus: “Thanks for the comment, I like that. Like my ass. You’re invited to like it. Thanks for the petition, I’m out. Like my ass. Join me.”. Verse excert: “Follow, post, hide host. I need to go online, I’m thirsty. I need to filter friends, picture off, picture on. Single-hunter are poaching. I must like Jesus, order learjets, demand styles and new statements, play in a team and stream, random opinion, yes, please.”. Watch the video after you watched the “Leider Geil” video, as it’s a recreation of it with the band members playing all of the roles. Selber machen lassen
[Do it yourself passively (it’s really difficult to translate it as it’s a play of words)] is a complaint that for all kinds of tasks you need to ask others to do them for you (even though you could easily do them yourself as if the task itself wasn’t difficult but the process of having to trust / organize others to do it is. What makes this song not good but great is that the lyrics fit the performers: it is not performed by Deichkind but by I guess around 25 other popular German-speaking musicians. “Everything you have to do passively. Do it yourself is out, I let someone else do it. Everything you must do passively. I’m must get your hands dirty, again.”. Some of the things they claim you must do let someone else do for you: pay later, get up early, inherit your father’s company, live happily, comb your hair, go broke, found a sect, search your keys, take over the world, split nuclei, tune your rims… So’ne Musik
[Such a music] lists places where you’re surprised to discover a new great song, e.g. at a parents’ evening, a hangover breakfast, the oval office. Sick beat. Wer sagt denn das?
[Who says that?] (2019)
Their most recent album. All of the music videos feature the German actor Lars Eidinger and have not only German but also English and French subtitles. Wer sagt denn das?
is a political song about topics such as the media, fake news, filter bubbles, and conspiracy theories. Imo their best music video. Richtig gutes Zeug
[Really Good Stuff] deals with materialism. The lyrics are basically recommendations for well, really good stuff such as the movie Matrix, CBD drops, rosehip tea and praising comments such as “It’s something really special” and “It’s quite a drive to get there but it’s worth it”. Dinge
[Things] is similar to “Richtig gutes Zeug” but more about consumerism than materialism. Keine Party
[No Party] makes fun of their own music and age. The beat is a rather aggressive electronic beat whereas the lyrics, in contrast, are from the perspective of their critics stating that the members of Deichkind are too old for partying and claiming things such as that they stole their music from the Beastie Boys. Very simple but fun video featuring Lars Eidinger dancing at different locations in Berlin. Bude voll people
[Full House. (lit. house full of people)] is based on the Marilyn Manson song “Beautiful people”. 1000 Jahre Bier
[1000 years of beer] praises beer. Rammstein lead vocalist Till Lindemann sings the chorus. LINKS Wikipedia
/ Genius TL;DR
Deichkind is a German Electro-Rap band which has lyrics ranging from hedonism to intelligent social commentary. Their music videos are crazy creative. From the linked songs, I’d recommend checking out Wer sagt denn das?
and Richtig gutes Zeug
first and to switch on the English subtitles.