According to Kollegah, his talent for rapping comes from the fact that he started learning to recite verses from the Qur'an and would start playing around with them, making them rhyme. Kollegah started rapping in 2004 under his first alias "T.o.n.i." He released his first mixtape "Zuhältertape Vol. 1" (Zuhälter = german for "pimp") in 2004 for free over the internet which caused a rather great hype in the german underground rap scene. Kollegah fascinated the listeners with lightspeed double or even tripple time rap, incredibly funny and complex punchlines and ruthless drug dealer stories which had never been before in Germany. He then would start rapping in the german "RBA" (Reimliga Battle Arena, an online platform for german Mcs to battle each other via mp3s) and caused a great hysteria aswell because alot of people could not believe that such a good and verbally gifted player would attend their small community. In 2005 the "Selfmade Records" Label, home to Artists like Favorite or Shiml signed him and immediately re-released his Zuhältertape as an "X-mas edition" with 6 bonus tracks. A year after, he released his highly anticipated follow-up mixtape called "Boss der Bosse" (german for boss of the bosses). 2007 finally marked the release of his first Album, "Alphagene" (german for alpha genes) which sold surprisingly well for a purely independently released album, peaking at #51 in the german album charts. The successor "Kollegah" in 2008 even topped this remarkable chart entry with a stunning #17 entry in it's first week.
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