Kontra K is a street-smart, martial-arts obsessed German rapper based in Berlin. As a troubled adolescent, he found inspiration in American rap artists like Nas and Notorious B.I.G., and began writing his own lyrics after dropping out of high school at age 16. While pursuing an interest in kickboxing, he also formed the duo Vollkontakt with fellow rapper KiezSpezial, and they were discovered by Kaisa who signed them to his label Hell Raisa, where they released the Fight Club Mixtape in 2008.
The Hell Raisa label was dissolved the following year and Kontra K decided to carry on as a solo artist, founding a new label with Skinny Al and Fatal called DePeKa. He released his solo debut, Doberman (named for his dog Chiko), in 2010. A dubstep mixtape called Electrosmog was released in 2012, followed by his second LP, What Time Brings, later that year. Riding the success of his hot-selling second album, he released his third LP, 12 Runden, in 2013 and it reached number eight on the German charts. The year 2015 brought a new deal with Four Music, as well as Kontra K's fourth album, Aus dem Schatten Ins Licht. Released in February, it narrowly missed topping the charts in Germany. One year later, Kontra K finally hit number one with Labyrinth, which also reached the Top Ten in Austria and Switzerland. ~ Timothy Monger