“I’m sweating because I’ve become an old, fat man,” says rapper Bushido on stage. The 45-year-old is performing his music for the first time in eight years. On Thursday evening he is back for a short time in his old, not entirely unburdened home of Berlin – for the start of his “King Forever!” tour.

In two and a half hours, the former gangster rapper (“Sonnenbank Flavour”) gives his fans what they have been missing for eight years. Meanwhile, a lot has happened in the musician’s life. Four of his seven biological children – Aaliyah, Djibrail, Laila and Issa – appear on stage, twice. And the audience celebrates it.

Joy and disappointment

“I think it’s great how much development he has made,” says a 28-year-old fangirl. “He’s grown up, and so have I. I got what I longed for today – even if he could have played a few more classics.” A 36-year-old from Leipzig, on the other hand, is rather disappointed: “The expectations were high, and what you got was very little. There wasn’t even merch. And: It’s a concert, not a family event.”

The concert started on time and without an opening act. Maybe because it was secondary marketed on RTL in the live stream. Maybe because the rapper’s entire family, including the two-year-old triplets – with hearing protection and nannies – were in the audience. “I’m so excited! Dad’s coming now!” says Bushido’s wife Anna-Maria as she waits for the performance to begin with her daughter on her lap. She filmed this scene herself for her Instagram account, where she had been promoting the tour for weeks.

Family business as salvation

It becomes clear again and again that the Berlin gangster rapper whose real name is Anis Ferchichi has become a father through and through. He explains to the audience exactly how they should wave their arms from left to right and back to the left in time and asks: “Can you do that? I’ll help you.”

The 45-year-old has been living in Dubai for just over a year and a half – with his large family. This accompanies him on the entire tour. His wife, a sister of pop singer Sarah Connor, as well as their seven children and nannies live on the tour buses for weeks.

“My greatest wish was to have a family,” he says very softly in one clip. The man who has been working on changing his image for years with family podcasts and family documentaries no longer seems like the rapper he used to be known to the police.

Bushido still involved in lawsuits

In Germany Bushido is under police protection. In the podcast “In Bed with Anna-Maria and Anis Ferchichi” he said that he was living in isolation in the hotel before the start of the tour. Neither the organizers nor the police wanted to comment on the security measures during the concert.

Recently, Bushido has been in the headlines mainly because of several court cases. His manager Arafat Abou-Chaker was acquitted in court in mid-February, but the public prosecutor’s office appealed against this. Bushido was a witness and co-plaintiff in the criminal proceedings. A large part of the allegations were based on his statements.

New album coming soon – but when?

On Friday Bushido continues to Leipzig, and from there to several other German cities as well as to Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. After the tour – according to official information it is the last in Europe – the musician also wants to release a new album. Originally it was going to be called “Rex in aeternum” – the Latin version of his tour’s title.

In his podcast “Electro Ghetto” he announced in January: “I will definitely rename the album.” The release date for the new record is not yet known. “In my music I deal a lot with desires for revenge and payback stories,” he announced in an interview with the German Press Agency.