German rapper Kollegah moved through a wide range of styles over the years, moving from a gangsta rap style he described as "pimp rap" into other equally inventive approaches. Kollegah's fluid, multi-syllabic rap style and confident persona proved commercially successful on albums like 2014's platinum-selling King.
Born Felix Antoine Blume to a Canadian father and German mother in Friedberg, Hesse, in 1984, Kollegah began competing in various rap battles from a young age. Following stints working for a bus company and as a translator, he signed to Selfmade Records in 2005. After releasing the mixtapes Zuhältertape X-Mas Edition and Boss der Bosse, his debut studio album, Alphagene, was issued in 2007, and was quickly followed by 2008's self-titled sophomore outing. In 2009, he became involved in a public feud with several artists from the influential Aggro Berlin label and collaborated with Düsseldorf rapper Farid Bang on the joint album Jung Brutal Gutaussehend. While studying for a law degree at Johannes Gutenberg University, he released his third effort, Bossaura, in 2011. In 2013, Kollegah and Farid Bang reunited for Jung, Brutal, Gutaussehend, Vol. 2, which rose all the way to number one in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. One year later, Kollegah's fourth proper album, King, repeated the same feat on the German and Swiss charts, featuring appearances from Farid Bang as well as Favorite, Casper, and Game. Although all his albums had appeared via Selfmade, Kollegah announced at the beginning of 2016 that he'd started his own label, Alpha Music Empire. At the end of the year, he released his fifth studio album, Imperator, which instantly hit the top spots in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The massive Monument followed in 2018 and even though Kollegah announced he would be taking an indefinite hiatus from making music around the time of the album's release, he returned at the end of 2019 with the sprawling, 24-track album Alphagene II. ~ Jon O'Brien
HOMETOWNFriedberg, Hesse, Germany