Definitions

Beginner

Beginner

[bih-gin-er]

Beginner (formerly Absolute Beginner — note that Beginner is the German plural) is a German rap group from Hamburg, consisting of Eißfeldt, Denyo and DJ Mad.

Band history

The group was founded as Absolute Beginners in 1991, initially with six members: Jan, Denyo, Mardin, DJ Burn, Nabil, Mirko, but the latter three dropped out after a few months. They started rapping in English and German with homemade beats, but later went over to rapping solely in German. During their first public appearance they met DJ Mad, who immediately joined the group.

In 1992 they released their first track, K.E.I.N.E. on the Sampler Kill the Nation With a Groove. The following year they released their first E.P., Gotting, and embarked on their first tour.

Their first proper album Flashnizm was released in 1996, to a fairly moderate commercial success. Nevertheless they produced a video for the single Natural Born Chillaz, which MTV refused to play, and went on tour throughout the German speaking countries to smaller crowds. Mardin became dissatisfied with the band’s progress and left in 1997. That same year Eißfeldt founded the Underground tape label Eimsbush, references to which are interspersed in many German hip hop tracks. Eimsbush records later developed into a full-fledged independent label, producing new acts like D-Flame and Illo77, but closed down in 2003.

In 1998 they had a Top 10 hit with Liebes Lied ("Dear Song", a pun on the word for love song). Their album Bambule entered the album TOP 30 and the next singles Hammerhart ("Hammer Hard") and Füchse ("Foxes"), which featured Samy Deluxe. They went on three tours with Dynamite Deluxe, Main Concept and the Beastie Boys respectively and appeared at major festivals. In 2001 the Beginners released a remix album to Bambule, called Boombule.

In 1999 Eißfeldt released his first solo reggae single, a cover-version of New Wave idol Nena’s Irgendwo, Irgendwie, Irgendwann. In 2001, he then released a solo reggae album, Searching for the Jan Soul Rebels. Denyo also went solo and released his album Minidisko 2001, while DJ Mad produced for other major acts and hosted a weekly radio show. This did not signalize a break-up, however, with Denyo and Eißfeldt going on the 60Hz-tour together, along with Eimsbush-act D-Flame.

In 2002, after the German hip hop hype had abated, Mad, Eißfeldt and Denyo agreed to record an album together again, which became their 2003 hit album Blast Action Heroes, heralded by the Top 10 single Fäule. It rose to first place in the German album charts, countering the downwards trend of non-mainstream music styles, which had been brought about by a number of changes in the music industry and Germany's media landscape. Their 2003 Blast Action Heroes-tour went into its second round in 2004. The first Beginner DVD is scheduled for release in December 2004. After Blast Action Heroes reached number one on the German charts, they released Danke, a song thanking their fans for their support.

Music

The Beginners started out with highly politicized lyrics. Their first song K.E.I.N.E. attacked the German police force. Their lyrics often mix comedy and politics. Indeed, a lot of the early satire of their lyrics abated in their first commercially successful album Bambule, especially in the singles released, and some rival acts accused them of selling out. However Eißfeldt’s reggae album has political lyrics throughout and Denyo has been engaged in the anti-racism hip hop project Brothers Keepers and Blast Action Heroes is also a thoroughly politicized album.

After the long break, the Beginner returned with a more progressive and experimental sound, without letting go of their old-skool roots.

Aliases

Jan Eißfeldt is also known as Eisfeldt65, Jan Delay (his reggae and funk name), Boba Ffett (his Style-Liga name) and Eizi Eiz (originally a character – a pretentious young rapper – in a duet with D-Flame, now his current stage name).

Denyo is also known as Denyo77, Denyo Deutschland and, simply, Dennis.

Discography

  • 1993: Song K.E.I.N.E. on the sampler Kill The Nation With A Groove (LP/CD, Buback Tonträger)
  • 1993: Gotting (EP/EPCD, Buback)
  • 1995: Die Kritik an den Platten kann die Platte der Kritik nicht ersetzen (12"/SingleCD, Buback)
  • 1996: Natural Born Chillas (12"/SingleCD, Buback)
  • 1996: Flashnizm [Stylopath] (LP/CD, Buback)
  • 1998: Rock On (12"/SingleCD, Buback/Universal Records)
  • 1998: Bambule (LP/CD, Buback/Universal)
  • 1998: Liebes Lied (12"/SingleCD, Buback/Universal)
  • 1999: Hammerhart (12"/SingleCD, Buback/Universal)
  • 1999: Füchse/K2 (12"/SingleCD, Buback/Universal)
  • 2000: Boombule - Bambule Remixed (RMX LP/CD, Buback/Motor)
  • 2003: Blast Action Heroes (LP/CD, Buback/Motor)
  • + solo projects and features

External links

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