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Bochum, Germany (1996 – 2003)

Ruhrpott AG (RAG) was a German hip hop group formed 1996 in Bochum.

RAG first found recognition in the German hip hop scene in 1998, with the album Unter Tage. The second and final album Pottential followed in 2001. RAG’s music was characterised by profound, poetical lyrics containing numerous similes, and by relatively restrained, often heavy and melancholic beats.

Ruhrpott is local slang for the heavily industrialised Ruhr Area of northwest Germany, and the abbreviation AG (Aktiengesellschaft) is equivalent to “plc”.


RAG arose from two earlier (and still active) hip hop collectives in the Ruhr Area: Filo Joes (with the two MCs Pahel and Galla) and Raid (MC Aphroe and DJ Mr. Wiz). Mr. Wiz is from Oberhausen, rather than directly from Bochum, and Aphroe is originally from Herne. Both groups have been active in the hip hop scene since the early 1990s.

Raid and Filo Joes encountered each other at jams and other events – they discovered they were linked by a similar mentality, and decided to make music together under the name “Ruhrpott AG”. One of their earliest recordings (although not actually released until it appeared on their second album) was the original version of Tief im Westen: a stream of emotions, associations, similes and metaphors concerning the band’s native region, the “Ruhrpott”, painting a multi-layered and often contradictory but nevertheless affectionate picture.


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