Capital Bra's ascent to fame in the German rap scene is as unbelievable as it could get. Born in Siberia and raised in the Ukraine, Capital Bra's first arrival to Germany happened in the early 2000's when he was moved to Berlin.
Throughout his adolescence, Bra, real name Vladislav Balovatsky, would get into German hip-hop culture. That is not surprising. The early 2000's was the period in German rap where gangsta rap and hardcore were the predominant preference in the public, and most of it was happening in Berlin.
Besides the legendary Aggro and Optik waves that swept the country with hit after hit and household name after the other, many other cultural phenomena were growing around hip-hop. If, as Capital Bra did, one were to grow up doing that specific period in Berlin, it would be most likely for them to turn out developing a battle rap mentality and a hardcore demeanor.
And of course, in that pivotal developmental stage of his life, Bra would start participating in the famous battle rap outlet "Rap Am Mittwoch".
Being akin to something like KOTD, SMACK or URL, the platform would generally amass a good following, gifting fame and clout to those persistent in the circuit. Bra was one of these battle rappers that participated in tournaments often, becoming a household name and eventually taking part of the most watched battle the channel has ever had (10 Million views as of release of this piece), which was the Bra's retirement battle versus Master Marv. Departing Rap am Mittwoch after making a historical contribution to it, the rapper would dive head first into his solo career, not knowing he would achieve just as much, if not more, in the music industry proper. His debut album "Kuku Bra", released in 2016, caught some attention from the public, but it would be the 2017 releases "Makarov Complex" and "Blyat" that would land the rookie rapper in the top five of the German charts.
The music industry analogue to Bra's achievement in Rap Am Mittwoch would come in 2018 with "Berlin Lebt", the first album to top the charts for the young German. Was it mentioned that it is the most streamed German rap album ever? Yes, by some metrics, a Siberian-born, Ukranian-raised battle rapper who was naturalized as a German, became the most streamed album in the culture’s history. The follow-up to that album is his most recent. It is called "Berlin Lebt 2", made in collaboration with Samra.
With this consistent output of material, Capital Bra remains controversial as a figure. A lot of hate is directed his way despite admiration being the most apt response to his come-up. That is in some sense a natural response to success, especially in a time where norms in hip-hop are rapidly changing.
Nevertheless, that will not change the accolades that Capital Bra has been able to attain. And while worries may arise seeing the shift in cultural taste away from gangsta rap and towards trap music, Bra has moved in the direction of adaptation, linking up with new wave artists such as Ufo361, as well with more conventional acts such as SAMRA, JUJU, LEA, KC REBELL and SUMMER CEM.
In summary, Bra's track record is undeniable and we predict his adaptability will be sufficient for him to remain part of the culture he fell in love with as a teenager.