Artist picture of Casper

Casper

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As the leading star of Germany's growing hip hop scene, Casper's use of a live rock band and willingness to be honest and deeply personal in his lyrics resulted in his music being dubbed as 'emo rap'. Born Benjamin Griffey to a German mother and American father, he grew up in a trailer park in Augusta, Georgia before moving back to Bielefeld, Ostewestfalen-Lippe at 11-years-old after his parents split up. Influenced as much by his father's Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Joy Division records as he was by the LL Cool J and Snoop Dogg tunes he heard on the radio, he formed metal-core and punk bands before competing in rap battles and making his own mixtapes. Releasing early material with the hip hop collective Kinder Des Zorns, his debut solo album Hin Zurr Sonne in 2008 showcased his raspy delivery and he marked himself out by rejecting rap's often superficial and macho culture. Follow-up XOXO in 2011 cemented his position as a major artist in Germany and his third album Hinterland drew wider attention, thanks in part to a guest appearance from Editors' front man Tom Smith on the track Lux Lisbon. After a two year absence, Casper returned with the single Lange Lebe Der Tod, featuring former Bad Seeds guitarist Blixa Bargeld, Swiss electro-pop crooner Dagobert and alternative rockers Sizarr.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved