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Karate Andi Drug junkie with corporate identity

»People look at me and they notice: Hey, cannabis junkie! / Fuck everything, I'll get ‘dick out, I'm Karate Andi / Servus!“With these words, a hitherto unknown MC introduces itself to the» Rap am Wednesday «crowd on October 17th, 2012 - and it attracts attention in a matter of seconds. Even the first lines read like a distillate of the image of what Karate Andi was to characterize from now on: A drug junkie as he is in the book and despite numerous substances in the bloodstream can rock the mic and who takes your girlfriend home with him , although his place looks like a pigsty. In short, in his own words: the boss from the backyard.

The associated YouTube video of the performance documents that the shit-on-everything attitude that was on display was not just played, but largely corresponds to reality. Andi's appearance captivates with a three-day beard, a boisterous hair giraffe that protrudes from under his cap, which is far too far back, and a cord as a belt, for which he is immediately taken on by the presenter Ben Solomon. In addition, there is a scratchy voice that inexplicably sounds extremely hoarse at the beginning of the evening, as well as movements that can be located somewhere between alcohol-laden staggering and suggested breakdance moves. All in all, actually rather unusual stylistic devices with which Karate Andi presented himself to the wider public for the first time - but this is exactly why he stood out and was pleasantly antisocial from the typical "Rap on Wednesday" -goers and participants.

Ben Solomon still remembers the first meeting with Andi: »It just had charisma! A certain charisma. When he started rapping and unpacking his crazy punchlines, I was immediately enthusiastic.“The newcomer to the RAM quickly became a darling of the public. Karate Andi is the new star in the sky of »Rap am Wednesday« and perfects his initially somewhat uncertain performance skills in no time at all. Maybe he'll just go without a beer or two beforehand. At the end of the season he was only in third place in the overall ranking, but in contrast to his competitors P-Zak and Drob Dynamic he was able to attract a lot more attention, which allowed him to make numerous connections. In the end, a deal even comes out of it.

This is what the legend says that one day the producer 7inch will notice Andi. The Berliner is already a name in the scene at this point: Beats for Kool Savas, Xavier Naidoo, Snaga & Pillath, Prinz Pi and Casper as well as productions for Tyga, Lil Wayne, Papoose and The Game. Together you record the first songs, the chemistry seems to be right, and so in the end a complete album is created, which is released under the title »Pilsator Platin« via the Macheete agency and rises to number 24 on the charts.

Then it becomes noticeably quiet around Andi. Here and there a freetrack, nothing more. At »Rap am Wednesday« he had barely appeared while the album was being produced, at most as a viewer, and even after the release he no longer battled. Only the succinct message on Facebook that the collaboration with Macheete has already ended again causes discussions. The majority of users speculate about a deal with Trailerpark, but the minority should ultimately be right: In July 2014 Selfmade Records dropped the bomb and announced the signing of Karate Andi.

It took Andi less than two years to go from an almost unknown rapper who just wrapped his drug antics and mother jokes in rhyme form just for the fun of it, to one of the most promising newcomers in German rapeseed, who just made a deal with one of the biggest indie labels in Germany. What very few people know: The story of Karate Andi begins a lot earlier than in the "Rap on Wednesday" times - and surprisingly, it doesn't even begin in Berlin.

It all started in Göttingen. Andi, who isn't actually called Andi, spends his childhood in the big city of Lower Saxony. From an early age he showed the impartial Do-It-Yourself habitus that still distinguishes him today: Little Andi not only likes to listen to audio books, he also records his own radio plays with his cassette recorder in his children's room. He speaks the various characters himself. Years later, the same development from passive consumer to active producer takes place again. However, one cannot speak of an ambitious rap career. Rather, the recordings are only used to pass the time among buddies who are waiting for it to get dark enough outside to go spraying. Andi and his boys rap through all the instrumentals that the internet has to offer - whether by Marvin Gaye, Rammstein or Udo Lindenberg's panic orchestra.

Recordings are made via the laptop microphone, because there is no money for decent equipment - and even if there is coal, it is invested elsewhere. After all, rapping is not really that important, even if a track is actually created here and there and a common crew name is even found with Human Traffic. The pseudonyms of the individual rappers, on the other hand, are redefined from day to day. For example, rockets Ronny 500, Schore Volker, Augen Rainer, John Borno, Josef K., the fat boy from the swimming pool or Karate Andi to the mic are tapping.

The latter seems to take rap a little more seriously. Together with a homie named Prisma, Andi records the "In your face" mixtape. Andi trades for this tape under the name Monty Burns, borrowed from the miserly nuclear power plant owner from "The Simpsons". Incidentally, a collaboration with an architect will be created a little later under the same name. On the tape itself he also likes to borrow the name of Mackie Messer, the gang boss from Brecht's "Threepenny Opera", and here and there compares himself with Edgar Allan Poe, a US writer of crime and horror literature. A weakness that is also noticeable later: Andi's current Facebook page is tellingly registered in the »Writer« category.

Musically, the "In your face" tape still knows how to inspire today: rumbling beats and the poor recording quality due to the cheap equipment do not reduce the listening pleasure in the least. On the contrary: They underline the authenticity of the texts, which even then fluctuated between mothers, sisters and friends on the one hand and alcohol, coke and crack on the other. Anyone who grew up with West Berlin masculine and the sect will immediately succumb to this charm. Even then, Andi was characterized by a drooled lecture, an overly pronounced rhyme fetish and an impressive level of disrespect. His talent is already clearly recognizable and the dull beats sometimes even suit him better than the smooth-ironed 7-inch productions that he was only to shell out a few years later.

Via the detour Leipzig, where Andi sometimes works at trade fairs, it finally leads him to Berlin. In view of his texts, it is hard to believe that a woman of all people moves him to move to the capital. That he hasn't actually always lived in Berlin, neither. This extremely cheeky manner, the drug affinity, the excessive self-confidence, swipes against newcomers - it fits like a fist in the eye. Andi feels at home in the capital, but is moving a bit away from rap and is now increasingly listening to other genres. Only his friend Gustav awakens the interest in spoken singing again.

Finally, the now legendary step onto the stage at »Rap am Wednesday« follows. Friends drag Andi to the event, he himself had never heard of it. Believing that he was just watching, he gave himself up early on until said friends finally pushed him onto the stage. A pseudonym had to be selected within a few seconds, the spontaneously mentioned name Karate Andi ended the constantly new name choice once and for all.

The rest of the story is known, the hype continues. Only the album announced for summer 2015, which was named one of the ten most anticipated records of the year by “Juice”, is a little longer in coming. Selfmade Records bridges the unplanned waiting time, which can confidently be seen as further proof of realness, ultimately with the »Chronik 3« label sampler, on which Andi and draft horse Kollegah are most frequently represented.

The course has been set for the next act from the SR roster, now we just finally have to produce an album. »In terms of content, we won't slip into it, so there is Karate Andi the way you love him, but with new, better productions«, Says label boss Elvir Omerbegovic at the beginning of last year. The plan is as simple as it is ingenious: While the image of one or the other self-made artist still had to be worked out, Andi already has a ready-made corporate identity that only needs to be helped to achieve the final breakthrough.

At least two hundred percent can be expected under the direction of Selfmade. Andi always has a high percentage and meanwhile it is actually time to step on the accelerator and make up for the lost meters in the fast lane. In any case, the album title »Turbo« doesn't promise too much. Andi kicks off with the first few lines: »I used to paint with hardware store cans on noise barriers / Today I degrade women's rap to album length / Pump the beat until the village brides throw up, yoa / Wie’n East German gospel choir to Nordhäuser Doppelkorn«With accurate double rhymes and a snotty attitude in her luggage, Andi rushes over pompous brass instruments and clattering drums that it's a pleasure.

For most of the album, the self-proclaimed "corner bar hustler" also manages to maintain his pace: whether on playful organ or music box samples ("Eisen", "Schwarzer Krauser"), minimalist bass-kick-snare skeletons ("Mofa «,» Broken Knieboogie «), a jingling slot machine theme (» Game of Life «) or a southern board from the» A Milli «drawer (» Komm im Bimma «) - Andi takes Bazzazian and Farhot with the help of his producers speed up and brings track by track to the finish as if it were one of his easiest exercises.

Sharp-tongued and purposeful, cheeky and politically incorrect - that's how you love Andi and that's how you get him on »Turbo«. In the usual casualness, sometimes with a previously unaccustomed variety of flows, the boss pounds out one punchline after the other from the backyard - including pop cultural references with a range from tactless to Günter Grass. If he can also be supported by MC Bomber and his Human Traffic colleague John Borno on »Haram Cipher«, the moped gang is complete.

Every now and then Andi shifts down a gear to get away from his parade discipline (namely »Lower class rap from the amphetamine lab«) And to devote oneself to various topics on the edge of his other cosmos - which sometimes works more and sometimes less well. Unfortunately, the pro-prostitution hymn »Flatrate« does not want to ignite humor either, nor does the ironic »your mother's dress«, which looks like a lukewarm infusion of »Böhe's girl« - and not only because of the Nico K.I.Z feature.

On »Let me stay«, Andi is surprisingly melancholy and illuminated with lines like »You're in a good mood, I would like to be at home / But instead I go back to the bar to have a ‘drink«His otherwise euphorically advertised lifestyle is sometimes a little critical. How confidently he walks away from well-practiced battlerap paths, without losing face, shows the potential that is still secretly slumbering in Karate Andi.

Like on his debut album, it is not completely exhausted this time either. Over long distances, »Turbo« delivers humorous battlerap at a technically high level, and Karate Andi is one of the most consistently embodied fictional characters that Deutschrap has to offer in 2016. Nevertheless, the few, but still existing, gap fillers prove that the speedometer needle has not yet reached its limit here.