A path through the forest with KIZ fans to Wuhlheide in East Berlin heralds the motto of the evening: the more provocative, obscene and louder the better. The concert starts punctually at 7.45pm, with the Frankfurt rappers duo Mehnersmoos, who this year reached ninth place on the album charts with their debut album. The rap band BHZ from Schöneberg continues to warm up a crowd of almost 17,000 fans.
The expectations are clear: pure provocation. KIZ did not disappoint at all when an hour later they entered the stage wearing white nursing clothes and, with deafening applause and screams, they started their first song “VIP in Psychiatry”. In the background, the words “Birkenhain Psychiatric Facility” appear. It is immediately followed by “Rap über Hass” from the current album of the same name. After a short greeting, followed by the classic “Vacation for the Brain”, the crowd seethes. Nico, Maxim and Tarek, as always, play powerfully. The audience joins the singing of KIZ.
Sharp self-love and applause
The set design is surprisingly restrained. Here begins the journey from Birkenhain Psychiatric Hospital in late purchase, Rosi store and record store, to gun store. The Mosh pit really gets going when “Unterfickt und mentally handicapped” starts playing. Longus Mongus from BHZ supports three rappers in the song “Even so bad”. KIZ entertains the audience time and time again with strong self-love and demands the applause of the fans.
KIZ creates music for academic children who want to get out of their boring everyday life. The audience is dominated by white men with gym bags and sunglasses. Some fans stand out for their colorful hair and ear tunnels, possibly their way of rebelling. KIZ seems to be hitting the nerves of German humor in general. And anyone who doesn’t understand KIZ’s art doesn’t understand – that seems to be the basic consensus here among the public – no irony. After more than six years of hiatus from KIZ, the crowd is starving.
For the more serious, political song “Revolution” KIZ receives the support of rapper Kuba. With the line “This is for Oura Jalloh”, Tarek recalls black people who burned to death in a German police cell. Another classic “Neuruppin” appears with rapper Kuba. The crowd raps along with the lyrics. When Walpurgis Night sounds, fans don’t know they’re going to stop. Mehnersmoos can support Nico, Maxim and Tarek in two more songs on stage.
When KIZ sings “Thank you Merkel”, a pink imperial eagle appears in the background. Maxim exclaims self-ironically: “This is a brilliant rap.” The evening ends with a tribute to the Berlin record label Royal Bunker. Musically, KIZ closes the concert with the hit “Hurra die Welt geht unter”. Supports Henning May on the catch. The crowd cries out for an encore. Shortly thereafter, the “cannibal song” resounds. With “Ein Affe und ein Pferd” KIZ enters the stage fresh and transformed. With “Kinderkram” Wuhlheide lights up with the support of fans, and the three Berlin rappers say goodbye to their fans in the evening after the two-hour concert.
Thoughtful border crossings
The three rappers Tarek Ebéné, Nico Seyfried and Maxim Drüner sell their provocations as a social critique that can do anything. Some conservative journalists consider Berlin musicians dangerous, others describe the music of the three rappers as a boring rap boomer. KIZ is filled with Wuhlheide two evenings in a row. Are they a sort of avant-garde of progressive rap, or do they produce predictable border crossings? Intelligence and a certain sympathy cannot be denied to the three artists. Her music career seems to be well thought out. The award-winning live shows make this even more evident.
The Federal Department of Media Harmful to Young People describes the Berlin trio’s texts as socially critical, with self-ironic elements. Can ironic discrimination be equated with social criticism? In any case, beer flows in large quantities here. And a bit of a weird feeling creeps in when the crowd obviously raps sometimes discriminatory lyrics.
The limits of provocation cannot be finally resolved this evening. But it seems that KIZ supporters have found a refuge in music where everything is finally allowed. And they can now stay true to their awakened self-image. At some point, crossing borders may not work for the masses. However, this evening, she seems to have stood up for the audience. There remains a feeling of boredom with all predictable provocations.