Door 16: Retrogott & Hulk Hodn

In each Christmas calendar our goal is to have at least one Hip Hop related entry. We tend to favor English speaking Rap, as in our opinion, German rap can be tricky. In its early days it was overly happy and in recent-years rather pseudo-gangster, both extremes never seemed authentic.

A more than welcome alternative is since more than ten years the duo Retrogott and Hulk Hodn. Being a classic Hip Hop formation, a MC and a producer, comparisons to cult duos like Gang Starr are more than obvious. Both incredibly talented solo artists, but as duo nearly unbeatable. This is also mirrored in their rather old school approach, a sample, often Jazz-influenced, a beat and the lyrics of the rapper.

Both are originally from around Cologne and started working together in 2005. Their names are one the one hand a clear reference to Hulk Hogan, but replaced by the German word for testiclesRetrogott initially called himself Huss, pronounced in English means hate in German. For the last two albums he changed his name, but stated no reason for that.

Lyrically Retrogott a.k.a. Kurt Hustle walks the thin line between up front battle rap and permanent intellectual references to history, art and philosophers. He is inspired on the one hand by philosophers like Jacques Derrida, Ludwig Wittgenstein or Ferdinand de Saussure and rappers like Big L, Schoolly D or Nas. In his lyrics, now rather subtle than in the beginning he provokes to question our position not to be schooling but rather to raise questions and point out issues.

 His rhymes are perfectly and always tastefully supported by Huld Hodn's beats. So far the duo released five records, two under their new monike Retrogott & Hulk Hodn. The latest Sezession! came out last year.

In recent years both are also quite active in their solo projectsHulk Hodn under his moniker Hodini, which gravitates more towards house music. Retrogott on his solo projects is also dancefloor oriented but with a funky approach. Next to their release on their label Entourage-Business, now called entbs, they released records on Damiano Von Erckert's AVA Records or Money $ex Records, which was founded by Max Graef, Glenn Astro and Delfonic.