Anyone who knows Apache 207 knows the rapper’s appearance: over two meters tall, long black hair and sunglasses that are almost never removed. A recognition value is definitely provided. And musically, too, it’s almost impossible to attribute an Apache song to another musician; the voice of the Mannheim rapper is too distinctive and can oscillate fluently between rap and wistful singing. So it’s no wonder that Apache 207 has developed into one of the most successful rap artists in Germany over the past three years – it’s still a bit irritating to wait for a musician in the sold-out Mercedes-Benz Arena amid screaming fans , who only had his very first small appearance at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg four years ago.
When Apache 207, whose real name is Volkan Yaman, takes the stage that night, the fans cheer, reaching out to him as if they want him closer. Not only he himself, but also his stage design is gigantic. Behind him is a detailed replica of the house in which he grew up – “his block”, as he will explain later. After the first three songs, he plays two of his older tracks, including “Roller,” which became his first #1 hit in 2019. He calls him an “oldie”.
Volkan Yaman was born in Mannheim in 1997 but grew up in Ludwigshafen. His father left the family early, he and his two siblings were largely on their own with their mother. Apache 207 received its first musical attention in 2018 for its debut single “Kleine Hure”, only one year later came the record deal with the label “Four Music”, which also includes the rapper Bausa. Apache’s debut album TREPPENHAUS reached number one in the German charts.
How much the rapper still feels connected to his hometown of Ludwigshafen becomes clear during the show in the Mercedes-Benz Arena: In a video that is played during a short break, Apache can be seen leaving a concert and being followed by a driver chauffeur the next show. After looking out the window, he asks his driver to stop for a moment. He gets out and walks to a house, stops in front of it and lights a cigarette. It’s the house he grew up in. “I wish I could play here,” he says. And suddenly he’s back on stage – and spreads his arms in front of the replica house. He got his block onto the stage.
Apache’s music is a conglomerate of street rap and 80s pop – a mixture that quickly gained him fans from a wide variety of genres. This is also evident at the concert: instead of exclusively young female fans (as you would expect at an Apache concert), there is no average demographic here. Young men, older women, fathers and their daughters who all sing along – everyone is represented here. And they all cheer in equal measure as Apache 207 presents the biggest surprise of the night: a collaborative track featuring none other than Udo Lindenberg. At the end of his hour-and-a-half show, the rapper leaves the stage for what he calls the audience, “a quick smoke break.” A video then shows Yaman taking an elevator to the roof, meeting Udo there and singing the song “Komet” together. When Apache comes back on stage after the music video, he explains: “You were the first to see it so spectacularly. And I should tell you one thing: Udo actually wanted to come too, but unfortunately he got caught with a mild flu. But don’t panic – to put it in his own words – he’ll get back on his feet in top shape, of course.”