We Almost Lost Bochum tells the story of RAG (Ruhrpott AG), the best German rap group that never rose to mainstream-level recognition. We are happy to offer this exclusive screening to Wax Poetics subscribers.
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About the film...
With only two albums, the 1998 indie rap classic Unter Tage and their complex yet underrated major release Pottential (2001), RAG injected the fledgling German hip-hop scene with a lyrical prowess and musical depth unheard of at the time. RAG’s US-informed underground sensibilities acutely captured the rawness and working-class mentality of the Ruhr Area, providing a signature sound for this storied industrial megacity that still holds up today.
Both their albums were released when German hip-hop found commercial success for the first time. While many of their peers grew to become stars, RAG fell apart and eventually disbanded in the early 2000s. While MC Pahel moved to Washington D.C. to start a family, Aphroe—arguably one of Germany’s most skilled rappers ever—struggled with artistic expectations both internal and external. MC Galla, the third rapper of the group, failed with a new venture in Berlin and got caught up in a sequence of bad luck and addiction.
The film follows the four RAG members through all stages of their time together, and beyond. The result is a story of a lifelong friendship, sudden success and failure, and the universal, subcultural pull of hip-hop worldwide.
We Almost Lost Bochum premiered at Hofer Filmtage in 2019, followed by many sold out drive-in screenings, and an official theatrical release in September 2020. This is the first time, We Almost Lost Bochum is digitally available outside of Germany.
Rolling Stone (4 Stars)
“RAG’s story serves this fine documentary as the starting point of a historical excursion back to the heydays of German rap. A portrait of what happens when subcultures get gentrified.”
“Likely one of the best German music documentaries ever made.”
Emma Warren, Author of “Make Some Space”
“You don’t have to be a fan of German rap to love this film. Yes, it’s a story about cult ’90s crew RAG, but more than that, it’s a story about friendship; the joy and the damage of success and what follows; and the universal ways in which hip-hop brought friends together worldwide.”