Die Fantastischen Vier

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Die Fantastischen Vier
Die Fantastischen Vier in 2016
Die Fantastischen Vier in 2016
Background information
OriginStuttgart, Germany
GenresGerman hip hop, pop rap
Years active1986 (1989) – present
LabelsFour Music, Sony BMG
MembersMichael "Michi" Beck
Thomas Dürr ("Thomas D")
Michael "Smudo" Schmidt
Andreas "And.Ypsilon" Rieke

Die Fantastischen Vier (German pronunciation: [diː fanˈtastɪʃən ˈfiːɐ̯], "The Fantastic Four"), often shortened to Fanta 4, is a German hip hop band from Stuttgart, named after the German title of Marvel's Fantastic Four. The members are Michael Schmidt (Smudo), Andreas Rieke (And.Ypsilon), Thomas Dürr (Thomas D; also dubbed "Hausmeister", janitor), and Michael "Michi" Beck. They were, together with Advanced Chemistry, among the first groups to rap in the German language.[1]


In the mid-1980s, Rieke and Schmidt formed the Terminal Team, which Dürr and Beck joined in 1989. Under the new name Die Fantastischen Vier they made German hip hop, or Deutschen Sprechgesang (German spoken-song) as they called it, popular in Germany. Although there were German hip-hop artists prior to them (such as Advanced Chemistry from Heidelberg), it was Die Fantastischen Vier who registered the first chart hit with their 1992 single "Die da?!" (Her?!) from the album 4 gewinnt, hitting No. 2 in Germany and No. 1 in Austria and Switzerland.

After traveling to Los Angeles in the late 1980s, the group realized the lack of connection between the struggles of "the poor blacks in the United States and middle-class whites in Germany",[1] and made a conscious effort to move away from the typical and cliché American gangsta rap. The group never got involved with gangsta rap clichés, reacting with tongue-in-cheek humor to verbal attacks of alleged German 'gangsta rappers'. In the albums following 4 gewinnt, the band matured and progressed to a more serious and philosophic style.

The band was extremely successful in the 1990s, when they released their hit single "Die da?!" in 1992. It was arguably the first German hip hop hit and also the breakthrough for Fanta 4.[2]

Die Fantastischen Vier in 1999

In addition to the group's works, Thomas D, Hausmarke, and Ypsilon also produced successful solo albums and the four had their own weekly show Die 4. Dimension, named after their third album, which aired on the German pay TV channel Premiere in 1993 and 1994.

At the 1996 Popkomm in Cologne, Die Fantastischen Vier announced the establishment of their label, Four Music. Headquarters were in Stuttgart, but were later moved to Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Three years later, the group's seventh album 4:99 was released on their own label, with four singles from the album following. After the No. 2 hit "MfG", three singles were released at the same time, a first in German music business. Each one can be associated with one of the rappers: "Le Smou" (Smudo), "Michi Beck in Hell" (Michi Beck), and "Buenos Dias Messias" (Thomas D).

In late September 2004, the group released the album Viel, the following tour being their most successful and best-attended to date.

In 2005, Fanta 4's first greatest-hits album was published. It includes all singles, as well as several other songs and rare footage from the group's early days, when they were still called Terminal Team and rapped in English.

On 7 April 2007, the number-one album Fornika was released, preceded by the single "Ernten was wir säen" (Reap what we sow). "Ernten was wir säen" was released as a download for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock in December 2007 and was covered by rock band Oomph! in 2009.

Die Fantastischen Vier at their Heimspiel ("Home Match") gig in 2009

Die Fantastischen Vier are also the German voices of the Penguins (Michael Beck as Skipper, Thomas D. as Kowalski, Andreas Rieke as Rico and Michael Bernd Schmidt as Private) in the Madagascar film series.

In 2010, Für dich immer noch Fanta Sie peaked again at number one of the German charts.

The 2014 release of the album Rekord marked the 25th anniversary of the band. It also topped the charts in Germany.

In 2018, the single "Zusammen", featuring Clueso, from the album Captain Fantastic, was chosen as the official song for the 2018 FIFA World Cup by German public broadcaster Das Erste.


Thomas D, Smudo, and And.Ypsilon at the IAA interviewed by Janin Reinhardt
Michi Beck in 2010

Live members

  • Markus Kössler – bass
  • Florian Dauner – drums
  • Lillo Scrimali – keyboards
  • Roland Peil – percussion
  • Markus Birkle – guitars
  • ESKEI83 – DJ



Year Title Chart positions
Germany Austria Switzerland
1991 Jetzt geht's ab! 22
1992 4 gewinnt 3 3 3
1993 Die 4. Dimension 14 23 27
1994 Megavier 21
1995 Lauschgift 2 10 5
1996 Live und direkt 17 30
1999 4:99 1 1 1
2000 MTV Unplugged 6 7 18
2003 Live in Stuttgart 81 50
2004 Viel 2 2 4
2005 Viel live 46
Best of 1990–2005 26 32 29
2007 Fornika 1 4 2
2009 Heimspiel 12 54 64
2010 Für dich immer noch Fanta Sie 1 2 1
2014 Rekord 1 4 2
2015 Vier und jetzt: Best of 1990–2015 6 52 22
2018 Captain Fantastic 2 3


Year Title Chart positions
Germany Austria Switzerland
1991 "Mikrofonprofessor"1
"Hausmeister Thomas D."2
1992 "Die da!?"3 2 1 1
"Frohes Fest"4 15 20
"Hausmeister Thomas D. '92"2
1993 "Saft"5 19 38
"Lass die Sonne rein"6 92
"Zu geil für diese Welt"7(as Megavier) 22 20
1994 "Tag am Meer"8
1995 "Sie ist weg"9 1 16 2
1996 "Populär"10 41 39
"Nur in deinem Kopf"11 81
"Raus"12 56 38
1997 "Der Picknicker"13 42
1999 "MfG"14 2 2 2
"Le Smou"15 68
"Buenos Dias Messias"16 87
"Michi Beck in Hell"
2000 "Tag am Meer (Unplugged)"8 67
2001 "Sie ist weg (Unplugged)"9 81 50
2004 "Troy"17 9 11 22
"Sommerregen"18 44 66 74
"Geboren"19 48 48
2007 "Ernten was wir säen"20 12 35 25
"Einfach sein"21 11 13 22
"Ichisichisichisich"22 45 - -
2008 "Yeah Yeah Yeah" 86 - -
2010 "Gebt uns ruhig die Schuld (den Rest könnt ihr behalten)"23 10 22 10
"Danke"24 36[4] 57 56
2014 "25" 15 53 -
"Und los"25 53 71
2015 "Name drauf"26(feat. Seven) - - -
2017 "Endzeitstimmung"27 - - -
2018 "Tunnel"28 - - -
"Zusammen"29(feat. Clueso) 2 32
"Hitisn" - - -
Title translations:
  1. "Microphone Professor"
  1. "Janitor Thomas D." (Thomas D.'s "title" of Hausmeister is also something of a play on words, as the literal meaning of the fragments Haus("house") and Meister("master") (alluding to house music) is also implied)
  1. "Her" or "This one over there" ("Die" describing a feminine grammatical gender implies the fact that the group is talking about a female person.)
  1. "Merry Celebration" (literally); "Merry Christmas" (actual meaning)
  1. "Juice"
  1. "Let the Sun come in" (literally); "Let the sunshine in" (actual meaning)
  1. "Too Horny for this World" (literally); "Too Hot for this World" (actual slang meaning)
  1. "Day at the ocean" or "Day at the seaside"
  1. "She Is Gone"
  1. "Popular"
  1. "Only in your Head"
  1. "Get Out"
  1. "The Picnicker"
  1. ("MfG" is the official German abbreviation for "Mit freundlichen Grüßen" which means "With Best Regards")
  1. ("Le" is a masculine grammatical gender in French language and implies the fact that "Smou" is a male person.)
  1. "Buenos Dias Messiah!" ("¡Buenos Días!" is the Spanish expression for "Good Morning!")
  1. (Though being spelled "Troy", the song's lyrics make clear that the word (even in just the sentence where it is used) is meant to be a homophone to German "treu" which means "loyal" and "faithful". They, however, pronounce it rather like the English word.)
  1. "Summer Rain"
  1. "Born"
  1. "Reap What We Sow"
  1. "Be Easy" or "Just Be" (literally); The chorus of the song is "Everything could be so simple"
  1. "IisIisIisI" (read as "I is I is I is I"; "is" is the nonstandard term for the 3. person form of the German verb "sein", which means "to be". Connected to "Ich" = "I" there is a volitional grammatical incorrectness)
  1. "Just put the blame on us or "Give us only the guilt"(but keep the rest for yourselves)"
  1. "Thank you"
  1. "And go"
  1. "Marked with Name"
  1. "Apocalyptic Mood"
  1. "Tunnel"
  1. "Together"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Timothy S. "'Keeping it Real' in a Different 'Hood: (African-) Americanization and Hip-hop in Germany." In The Vinyl Ain't Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 137–50. London
  2. ^ "Yahoo".
  3. ^ "Ö3 Austria Top40: Longplay-Charts - Ö3 Charts". oe3.ORF.at.
  4. ^ "GfK Entertainment - Platz eins der Charts: Linkin Park sind zurück".
  5. ^ "Ö3 Austria Top40: Single-Charts - Ö3 Charts". oe3.ORF.at.

External links[edit]