Der Kommissar - Falco - 80sneverend - The European rapper

The European rapper

Falco – Der Kommissar

Drah Di net um, oh oh oh
Schau, schau, der Kommissar geht um! oh oh oh
Wenn er Dich anspricht und du weißt warum,
Sag ihm dein Leben bringt Dich um
#Falco #DerKommissar

The first time you saw him on TV, it was always a shock. He was absolutely a stranger, but it was clear that he was very strong, and from here on he would become one of the greatest icons of the 80s; you didn’t understand anything he said, but what mattered?

He had a terrible video, and not only because of the technological constraints of the time: he was pretending to be chased but you could see very well that he was in front of a screen, but what mattered? He was an unlikely character who from this moment would start to rap in all languages, but what mattered? Above all, a character who would no longer get out of our lives (although unfortunately, he has moved on to a better life).

It was December 12, 1981 when (first in Austria and Germany) Falco released the song that presented his genius and creativity to international audiences, Der Kommissar. Until then Falco had a certain reputation in Austria, he had also been part of a confused metal-punk band in which he was the only one to show up in a suit and tie, but was completely unknown abroad.

Then comes this song, and everything changes. The song is very funky, and Falco himself had doubts before publishing it because it might seem similar or inspired by Rick James’s Super Freak. And then there was the speech of the text, which had two peculiarities.

The first was the language: a song that was not sung in English was by no means a song for which to predict international success, in 1981, especially if you wanted to break through even in the United States! (In Europe, to be honest, Lio already found success with songs in French like Amoureux solitaires, for example.) In this case the text is a mixture of good German and slang expressions in viennese dialect, Falco’s hometown.

And Falco solved the linguistic question simply by throwing some English into it, in a colossal dough that was difficult to understand and follow, but absolutely fascinating to listen to.
There was another peculiarity: Falco was the first European artist (many even say the first caucasian) to rap. And that made Der Kommissar absolutely irresistible. To put it another way, Eminem was ten years old at the time.

The song tells, in Falco’s bizarre slang, of a couple at the limits (or out of bounds) of legality that, every time they meet, are reached by the police cars, so much so that they are now almost in confidence with the commissioner who wants to arrest them. The lyrics refer to cocaine, but this was quite normal in Falco’s songs. Another song from his debut album Einzelhaft, which will be released shortly after Der Kommissar, tells how the whole of Vienna now stood on the consumption of various drugs, mentioned one by one. The song was Ganz Wien.

The commissioner’s role did not actually exist in the Austrian police, but it was a role to which Falco was fond. Shortly before, he had starred in an episode of a television series entitled “Kottan ermittelt”, a heavily ironic police series based on the adventures of the commissioner, major Kottan. Falco had played the pianist of the band where Kottan played as a hobby, and he had the idea that Commissioner Kottan should have a song of his own. When he received the music for Der Kommissar, his recent experience in the television series certainly helped inspire him for the lyrics.

The song was later re-sung in English by After the fire at Falco’s invitation, so that he could have English lyrics for his future tours of America. In addition, this song was also covered by the legendary Laura Branigan under the title Deep in the dark, and this was in a way a fantastic recognition.

The video, as we said, is really basic, with Falco singing and pretending to run away from the police, chasing after him in the background screen. And yet, even in such a basic video, Falco’s charisma and disruptive strength emerged without problems!

Falco was a genius, no doubt, both musically and artistically. He lived his life completely out of the standard, and his music remains modern and engaging almost forty years later. This video is really a piece of history. The beginning of the journey of a pure talent who managed to break through even in America by singing, indeed, rapping in a language of his own.

Falco on Wikipedia

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