Die Fantastischen Vier, founded 1989, are a rap group from Stuttgart, Germany. In their 25 years of making music, they had not a single line-up change and consist of Michael "Smudo" Bernd Schmitt (rap), Thomas "D." Dürr (rap), Michael "Michi" Beck (rap, DJ) and Andreas "And. Y" (spoken Andi Ypsilon) Rieke (keyboards, production).
They released eight studio albums and six live albums. In 2009, their long time manager and friend Andreas "Bär" Läsker produced a tribute album for their 20 years anniversary.
- Jetzt gehts ab (1991)
- Vier Gewinnt (1992)
- Die Vierte Dimension (1993)
- Lauschgift (1995)
- 4:99 (1999)
- Viel (2004)
- Fornika (2007)
- Für dich immer noch Fanta Sie (2010)
- Rekord (2014)
The band provides examples of:
- Age-Progression Song: "Geboren" ("Born") is a procession of Age Progression Four-Liners in the verses.
- Audience Participation Song: "Was geht", "Die da". The "Vier, vier, vier" chant of "Vier Gewinnt" may also count as this.
- Boastful Rap: "Zu geil für diese Welt" ("Too wicked for this world")
- Break-Up Song: "Sie ist weg" ("She's Gone") ("I blew it" version), "Raus" ("Out") (starts as "teetering on the brink", but turns out to be more straightforward). "Troy" casts the band and the listener as the parties in a relationship, consisting of the band promising to henceforth be faithful (the title is the German word for "faithful", though pronounced the English way for no reason).
- Chess with Death: Or rather, "Rap Battle with Satan" comes about in the climax of "Michi Beck in Hell"
- Conscious Hip Hop: They have some songs like this. "Gebt uns ruhig die Schuld" manages to combine this and party hip hop
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Arschloch" combines this with Hair-Trigger Temper.
- Darker and Edgier: While the band had songs with shades of this before, "Buenos dias Messias" is completely devoid of their usual lightheartedness and banter.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Satan in "Michi Beck in Hell".
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: The last scene in "Michi Beck in Hell".
- Foreshadowing: "Vier gewinnt" is full of Title Drops of songs on the eponymous album and drops the title of the next album.
- Heavy Meta: "Hip Hop Musik".
- "I Am" Song: Every one of their members has at least one:
- Thomas D. has "Hausmeister Thomas D.", Michi Beck has "Der Picknicker" And. Y has "Nenn ihn Präsident"; Smudo holds the recod with "Le Smou", "Smudo in Zukunft", "Smudo schweift aus", "S.M.U.D.O. Ich bin halt so" and "Mikrofonprofessor".
- "Vier Gewinnt", "Jetzt passt auf" and "Jetzt gehts ab" are this for the whole band.
- List Song: "MFG (Mit freundlichen Grüßen)" has verses composed almost entirely of acronyms.
- Long-Runner Line-up}}: Unchanged since 1989.
- Mid-Vid Skit: "Troy" ("Ich bin ein Smou! Ich bin kein Sma.")
- Motor Mouth: All three of their rappers can perform this.
- Number of the Beast: In "Michi Beck in hell", this comes upIch spuckte sechshundertsechsundsechzig Styles binnen kürzester Zeit ("I spat six hundred and sixty six styles in seconds flat")
- Record Needle Scratch: Occurs in "Es wird Regen geben" ("There Will Be Rain"), immediately following the line "Ging das zu schnell, setz die Nadel zurück" ("If that was too fast, put the needle back").
- Stage Name: Every band member has one or more.
- The Quiet One}}: And. Y is almost never heard, save two songs from the band's early years, were he has exactly one line both times
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Genug ist genug", "Schmock".
- True Companions: They haven't changed line up in 25 years and would probably quit as a group if one of them did.