There is an anecdote in which Raphael Ragucci, real name Raf Camora, simply turned his back on his homeland on a scooter and traveled to Berlin to devote himself to his great passion, music. Said scooter appears again and again in his lyrics, among others in the great revolutionary song “Palmen aus Plastik”: …

There is an anecdote in which Raphael Ragucci, real name Raf Camora, simply turned his back on his homeland on a scooter and traveled to Berlin to devote himself to his great passion, music. Said scooter appears over and over again in his lyrics, including in the great revolutionary song “Palms made of plastic”: “Take rides on the scooter, it gets a little cold when it’s dark.” As the text continues, now all of Rap Germany knows: “I’m burning my grass / under plastic palm trees!” The official video now has 148 million views on Youtube.

You don’t know it with Raf Camora, who always seems sure of himself and serene, but it all started with lyrics like “I’m pulled, traumatized.” And you can feel this sadness in me. When I sleep, this pain arises. . I have with this during the day live, I would be long dead. “Maybe it was his origins, his childhood in French-speaking Switzerland, as the son of an Italian and an Austrian, that gave him versatility and depth, maybe just love and devotion for music. At first glance, the music that ultimately gave him his breakthrough is neither ambiguous nor philosophical. Nevertheless, Raf Camora’s instinct and musical know-how were instrumental in making German rap more danceable and suitable for clubs.

If you look at success stories, they often don’t start until the moment of success. In Raf’s case, it would be in 2016, when “Palms made of plastic” became an international hit that had never been seen in this form on the German rap scene. The following years speak volumes and write Raf’s story: sold-out tours in huge stadiums, countless gold and platinum awards, billions of streams, advertising deals worth millions, albums by no less successful follow-up – a star is born.

We often forget that behind this success story there is neither coincidence nor well-calculated marketing of a major, but rather a musicality and a story full of doubts, humiliations and failures. Raf always seemed down to earth, calm and thoughtful. He did this early in his career when he performed in front of ten people at a small club in Berlin, and he still does today when his autobiography “The Pact” catapults to the top of the bestseller lists. : self-constant. reflection assures that his great successes did not go to his head.

The black crow appears again and again as a symbol of decisive career points in his music, confronts him with decisions, shows him the future. In 2010, he met the bird for the first time. On the song of the same name, he promises Raf Camora a prosperous future: fame, money, women and all that goes with the dark side: drugs, loss, maybe even suicide. At that time he had lived in Berlin for three years, had released his third album on the small independent label “Wolfpack”, had placed several productions, notably on the albums of a certain Bushido, and was far from his current success.

Even then, the musician was absolutely exceptional talent. He not only rapped and produced music, but also graduated from SAE Media School with a degree in sound engineering. The half-Italian was always ahead of his time musically, mixing German and French lyrics and balanced, based on French hip-hop, between a strongly politico-philosophical content and a dark street aesthetic. At that time, rap greats like Booba or Sinik were in vogue in France: hard street rap with melancholy and self-referential content. Heavy drums that met pianos and strings. But Camora, who could have skillfully transposed this concept to German rap, declines Raben’s offer: German street rap at the time was plump and straightforward, which certainly gave it a certain charm – but Camora felt like it was because of lack of content and music Variety not at home. However, as is so often the case, he kept his finger on the pulse and started adding more successful sound to stage greats like Farid Bang or Massiv. He also changed his name to Raf 3.0, sidestepping Raven’s early prophecy by making his music more melodic, futuristic, and less gloomy. Strong reggae and dance hall influences, as on his debut album “Next Stop Future” from 2009, have become an integral part of his music. It is certainly no coincidence that the album “Raf 3.0” was released on Austrian raggae and dancehall label “Irievibrations Records” and took the top spot on Raf’s charts at number 7.

This phase marks the almost most remarkable turning point in the musician’s career: marked by a strong self-doubt, after two quite successful “Raf 3.0” albums, he released a dark album by Raf Camora – with an equally dark title “Therapy after tea”. ” The death “. When asked what his name was as an artist, he was taken in by the statement that Raf 3.0 represented the more melodic and lighter side and Raf Camora for his darker and more melancholy side. It didn’t go well: Success came, CDs even had to be smashed because they weren’t sold – fans just didn’t know what to expect from such a versatile artist.

But driven by the first successes under a completely different stage name and the resulting doubts, Raf faces the crows for the second time: “Black raven tell your master / that I can feel my life again” rapped Ragucci, retired since back in 2016 both with the solo album “Ghost”, on which he let his two artistic personalities flow, and with his mega-breakthrough “Palms made of plastic”.

The rest is history, you might think – if the rapper hadn’t really pulled the tearing rope at the peak of his career. In 2019, he announced he would step down from the public. Maybe “Zukunft” is the renewed release of such a versatile, intelligent and ultimately sensitive artist, even if Raf seems as confident and confident as he rarely does on his comeback album.

In retrospect, Raf is perhaps one of the few German hip-hop musicians whose success has grown in a healthy way through ups and downs on the one hand. In contrast, the person Raphael Ragucci was surely overwhelmed by the explosive, but not surprisingly, success of “Palms made of plastic” and the following three years. Of course, success and the material benefits that flow from it are an important topic in the songs of the Berliner by choice, but it is often described there as a kind of illness that must be cured. The subliminal death wish on the albums “Zenit” and “Palmen aus Plastik 2” is appallingly dominant and gives his supposed retirement from music and show business something understandable: the philosophical and ambiguous component of Raf Camora’s lyrics, not just because he has them there. hid well, most of the time underestimated – especially in the whirlwind of success: as an artist, you often work with discoveries, because the feelings are often so strong that “end of musical career” sounds more great that “short break to close yourself”.