For some reason, as I was folding laundry today, I remembered the German hip hop group, Freundeskreis. Is this ringing any bells out there?
Ohhhhh, how I loved their "Esperanto" album. It came out in 1999 (or "neun-neun" as they say auf album), and I remember listening to it in my brother's car and driving all over town just so we could keep listening to it (yeah... this was when gas was like $1.25 a gallon).
Looking back, I have to say the 90s were a remarkable time for hip hop. Ohmega Watts brought this up in Imago Dei's "Yes Yes Y'all" workshop. There was so much creativity and thought going into the genre in the 90s. It wasn't just the time of Snoop Dogg, but Digable Planets, the Fugees, Common and so much more.
This album was particularly creative. Musically, was full of tasty guitar bits and old-timey samples over mellow beats. Lyrically, what I understood of it was really fun and clever. It was multi-lingual above all-- German, French, English, Spanish, even Esperanto (the International Language, if you don't count Love like the girl in "Better off Dead" did). Only Freundeskreiss could bust three languages in one phrase and make it all rhyme.
All I have of it at this point are web samples and my brother's kasset tape. Does anyone still listen to these guys? Does anyone miss them as much as I do?