“Rolex for everyone” is the motto of Disarstar’s tour. On Monday, the left-wing Hamburg rapper performed at Berlin’s Astra Kulturhaus.
Dissastar at the Heroes Festival in Geiselwind in June 2023 Photo: Markus Köller/imago
Disarstar is a long time coming. Around 1,500 people came to the sold-out Astra Kulturhaus in Berlin-Friedrichshain on Monday evening to see the left-wing rapper. Instead, DJ Hägi begins the warm-up, even though the audience has already gotten into the mood with political slogans. “Siamo Tutti Antifascisti” and “All of Berlin hates the police” are chanted until the 29-year-old Hanseatic citizen in a black polo shirt enters the stage.
His show begins with “Rolex for All”, the title track of his new album and also the motto of his current tour. Disarstar raps, “When they say ‘There can’t be a better world’/They lie, yours couldn’t be better/Ours can only get better” on a driving beat enhanced by live drums on stage. When he asks in the chorus: “Rolex for whom?”, the audience answers “Rolex for everyone”. The fact that his voice sounds a bit flat at first is hardly noticeable given the energy he exudes live. He follows up the track “Hunger” with almost no pause for breath.
The content of Disarstar’s songs groans with serious topics: poverty, mental illness, police violence and social injustice. Class struggle is a central complex of his rhymes. No wonder, since the Hamburg native describes himself as a Marxist and is involved in communist grassroots groups. Musically, dark trap beats dominate the sound. A good atmosphere is still the order of the day at his concerts. With every announcement he asks the audience to “make a circle, make a circle” – and that doesn’t take long to ask. The mosh pit in front of the stage is the rule, not the exception. Go crazy, but with a feel-good factor, that’s Disarstar’s motto. From the start he makes it clear that all men keep their shirts on. He refers to the awareness manager. Anyone who feels unwell at the concert can contact them. And there is also a mosh pit just for FLINTA.
“We’re not opening the Middle East barrel today.” Disarstar turns away chants
Between the songs there is chanting, which can usually be heard in left-wing demos. And so it was only a matter of time before isolated calls for “Free Palestine” were heard. Disarstar, whose real name is Gerrit Jan Falius, immediately intervenes. “We’re not opening the Middle East barrel today!” he says. As the shouting continues, he continues to speak calmly, saying that he doesn’t always have the emotional strength to discuss everything. He speaks of solidarity and family and starts the next song until the shouts finally fall silent.
It remains a short, unpleasant episode that Disarstar solves elegantly. He plays his quieter songs accompanied by guitar and electric piano. Tears and kitsch instead of pogo and riot. And when he sings in his slightly roughened voice “Between hope and melancholy / We’re stuck / somehow”, he has the audience on his side. It’s so spellbound that it hardly ever films with cell phones.
Shortly before the end, Disarstar invites his Berlin colleague Luvre47 onto the stage and together they play “Pauseless” and “My City Never Sleeps”. The concert is over after almost 90 minutes. Before that, Disarstar sings his Antifa anthem and everyone in the hall raps along: “We come in black, Digga / With a few liters of ethanol / No love for the state / Siamo Tutti Antifa”.