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Renowned for tackling issues such as poverty, xenophobia, and cultural differences, rapper Fard (originally from Iran) is one of many figures on the German hip-hop scene inspired by an immigrant background. Growing up in the North-Rhine Westphalia city of Gladbeck, he began developing his MC skills at age ten and, after competing in various rap battles as a teenager, released his first mixtape, Blut, Schweiss, Tränen & Triumph, in 2006. Following 2008's Omerta and 2009's collaborative effort with Snaga (Talion), he teamed up with the likes of Kollegah, Summer Cem, and Farid Bang to record his debut solo album, Alter Ego, in 2010. A year later he troubled the German charts for the first time with his sophomore album, Invictus. His star continued to rise with the 2013 release of his third album Bellum et Pax, which peaked at a career-high number three on the German charts. ~ Jon O'Brien