MTV Unplugged: Live aus'm MV finds reformed German gangsta rapper Sido performing an album's worth of his greatest hits in acoustic arrangements with live instruments. The first German rapper to perform unplugged on MTV, Sido was presented with a challenging proposal and goes to great lengths to present his material with acoustic rather than electronic instrumentation. No question about it, hip-hop is one of the trickier musical styles to perform unplugged, and it's interesting to see how each of the 18 songs on MTV Unplugged: Live aus'm MV is arranged from a musical standpoint. While it's true that Sido is the first German rapper to perform unplugged on MTV, he has the benefit of following in the footsteps of Jay-Z, who performed unplugged with the Roots back in 2001 to much fanfare. Like Jay-Z, Sido relies heavily on live percussion and incorporates a wide range of instrumentation, from strings, guitar, and piano to a live children's choir on "Augen Auf" and featured guest vocalists on several other songs. Most notable among the guest features are Kurt Krömer on "Hey Du!," Stephan Remmler on "Da Da Da," and Adel Tawil on "Der Himmel Soll Warten." Filmed and recorded at the Fontane-Haus in the Märkischen Viertel, the Berlin locality from which the onetime hardcore rapper hails, MTV Unplugged: Live aus'm MV is an impressive feather in the cap of Sido, who has cleaned up his act in recent years and appears neatly groomed here in a shirt and tie. This CD/DVD is something of a victory lap for him and marks a transitional point in his career. Though far from essential, MTV Unplugged: Live aus'm MV should be of interest to fans and should bring a new wave of them into the fold. Among the more notable greatest hits performed are "Mein Block," "Ein Teil von Mir," and "Schlechtes Vorbild." Other highlights include the new songs "Der Himmel Soll Warten" and "Da Da Da," both of which were released as singles.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier