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German rapper Marteria, who also records as Marsimoto, was born Marten Laciny on December 4, 1982, in Rostock, East Germany. He played soccer as a kid and teenager, and became a member of the FC Hansa Rostock's youth team. After his older brother introduced him to hip-hop acts such as Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C., Laciny began to rap in 1995, forming his first group, Warn Direct, and then adopting the Marteria pseudonym in 1997. In 1999 he moved to New York, where he was discovered by a model scout, and for a year he modeled for brands such as Diesel, Hugo Boss, and Valentino before returning to Rostock. At the age of 18 he signed with Punchline/SPV and recorded a debut album, but due to the label's bankruptcy, the effort was never released. In 2001 he became a member of the Underdog Cru, performing several live concerts with them and touring Europe together with England's Mark B & Blade, the Delinquent Habits, and Germany's Flowmarkt in 2002. In 2003 Laciny moved to Berlin, where he studied acting. In 2006 he released his first proper solo album, Halloziehnation, which he recorded as his pothead alter ego Marsimoto, a fun project that started when Laciny experimented with an effects device and created a high-pitched voice similar to American rapper Quasimoto's. The album was produced by Dead Rabbit and released by Magnum12, which also released Laciny's next (and Marteria's first official) effort, 2007's Base Ventura. The same year, Marteria toured as a support act for Jan Delay. In 2008 he signed with Four Music and released a second Marsimoto album, Zu Zweit Allein (his first chart entry in Germany at number 84). A new Marteria album followed in 2010: Zum Glück in die Zukunft, which featured guest appearances by Peter Fox, Jan Delay, and Miss Platnum. The album was produced by die Krauts (who had previously overseen Peter Fox's best-selling album Stadtaffe) and reached number seven in the German album charts. His 2014 follow-up, Zum Glück in die Zukunft II, was a massive hit in Germany, reaching number one and charting for most of the year. ~ Christian Genzel