“Emanuela”, “Nordisch by Nature”, “Jein” – with catchy tunes like these, the Hamburg hip-hop group Fettes Brot caused a sensation on the stages and in the dance halls for decades. But now it should be over. The breads stop. But of course they do it with a loud bang and a proper party. Two open-air concerts on two evenings on the sold-out trotting course in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld in front of around 25,000 fans are planned. When they let their fans celebrate them on September 1st and 2nd, they look back on a 31-year band history.

There are several reasons why they have persevered for so long and, above all, have been consistently successful. Good timing, the right environment as well as the appreciation and close connection that Dokter Renz (Martin Vandreier), Björn Beton (Björn Warns) and King Boris (Boris Lauterbach) cultivated. “We’re pretty good at communicating,” says Lauterbach. “We’re not coaches or communication experts, but somehow you inevitably become that in a band.”

How did Fettes Brot last so long?

“Our strategy? Run away, drink, arm wrestle,” adds Warns and all three laugh. “Of course there were arguments in 30 years, it would be strange if not. But we were always guys who were reasonably careful with each other.”

Vandreier confirms that it wasn’t always easy-going: “It’s interesting that a band that starts out as something self-determined and joyful and is therefore clearly behind listed companies in terms of commitment, becomes stronger over the years simply because of the duration of the collaboration and at some point feels like a real company. Like something that has always been there and it’s impossible to imagine life without it.”

One of the most successful German rap groups of the 90s

The specialist magazine “Musikexpress” describes Fettes Brot as “one of the most influential, but at least one of the most successful German rap groups of the 90s, alongside acts such as the Fantastischen Vier, the Beginners, Freundskreis, Dynamite Deluxe

Hamburg’s Senator for Culture Carsten Brosda (SPD) found many words of praise for the three Hanseatic Leaguers: “Fettes Brot brought hip hop to Hamburg and carried it out into the world from here with its very own sound. Many bands ask themselves the anxious question when they say goodbye.” Should I really do it or should I just leave it alone?” I still hope that they’d rather leave it and carry on. Fat bread would be missing!”

“The story is told”

Nevertheless, the three have decided to end their music project. “Of course there have been thought experiments about what it would be like to dissolve,” says Vandreier. “But it only became really concrete now.” Warns elaborates: “We feel like the story is over. And after 31 years, we also feel like we’ve seen everything there is to experience with a band.” Corona then made the thought of saying goodbye possible. In addition, saying goodbye to the band and everyone else had to hurt a bit.

“We used to be thought crazy to start a band and risk it all, now we’re thought crazy to give it all up.” Lauterbach summarizes with a laugh: “One thing remains the same: We’re crazy!”

It’s this easygoing, casual manner that the three exude that makes them so popular with fans. The musicians are down to earth, laugh a lot and give the impression of being at peace with themselves and their farewell.

Those are the plans for after that

And they already have plans for what to do after Fettes Brot ends. This is how Warns is drawn to the film industry: “I studied film during the Corona period and am now working on film projects. I enjoy it, but it doesn’t mean that music no longer exists in my life.”

These are the most concrete plans. Lauterbach’s aren’t tied down yet. He reveals only this much: “Music will continue to play an important role for me.” Vandreier, on the other hand, allows himself a break first: “I have to be able to perceive this moment of standstill and see what new things come out of it. Boredom is an underestimated feeling. Being unemployed leads to boredom and you can develop new projects from it. I want to take the time for that let.”

All tickets sold out within hours

Before the big farewell concerts, there are also two club concerts. Tickets for all four concerts were sold out within hours. The hip-hoppers were surprised by this success. “It was clear to us that we wanted to do something special in Hamburg on a farewell tour,” says Lauterbach. “Actually, we are crazy to book the trotting track for two days. You shouldn’t think twice about it, because that could have gone terribly wrong. In retrospect, that sounds like coquetry, but we couldn’t assume 50,000 in seven hours Selling tickets. It was surprising, but we’re super excited.”

Spectualtions about surprise guests

Of course there will be fireworks of the band’s biggest hits – and there were many of them: the Low German anthem “Nordisch by Nature”, which brought the breakthrough for Fettes Brot in 1995. “Jein”, with which they were able to manifest their place in the charts a year later. The thoughtful “On Days Like These”, “Gay Girls”, the protest tide directed against the anti-gay attitude in German rap and the catchy tune “Emanuela”.

Fans have been wondering for a long time whether there will be surprise guests. Warns reveals at least as much: “During our farewell tour, we had one or the other phone call with our friends.” That sounds promising!