Vom Bordstein bis Zur Skyline

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A phenomenal solo album debut that established Bushido as one of Germany's leading rappers, Vom Bordstein bis Zur Skyline also contributed to the establishment of Aggro Berlin as one of the country's leading rap labels. Years later, as Bushido grew to become arguably the greatest German rapper of his generation, splitting with Aggro Berlin in the process, Vom Bordstein bis Zur Skyline was commonly cited as a classic German rap album. Produced almost entirely by Bushido himself, with occasional co-production from DJ Ilan, Vom Bordstein bis Zur Skyline is gritty and cinematic. The homemade productions are laden with samples, including numerous loops of mid-'90s Mobb Deep, a good point of reference as Vom Bordstein bis Zur Skyline often feels like a German version of The Infamous (1995) or Hell on Earth (1996) in terms of both production and lyrical content. Like Mobb Deep, Bushido presents a grim vision of ghetto life, a late-night world of danger, violence, sex, drugs, and despair. On several songs, Bushido is accompanied by fellow Aggro Berlin rapper Fler, with whom he collaborated a year earlier on the trailblazing album Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten (2002), billed to Sonny Black (i.e., Bushido) and Frank Black (i.e., Fler). Highlights of Vom Bordstein bis Zur Skyline include "Bei Nacht," "Berlin," and "Vaterland," a hard-hitting trio of songs sequenced near the beginning of the album. Other highlights include "Tempelhof Rock" and "Vom Bordstein bis Zur Skyline." None of these songs was a major hit. The hits would come a year later for Bushido, once he split with Aggro Berlin and released his major-label album debut, Electro Ghetto (2004). Yet the highlights of Vom Bordstein bis Zur Skyline -- and indeed the album itself -- rank among the best moments of Bushido's storied career.