Meet Haiyti, the German “White Girl Mit Luger” Giving Future a Run for His Money

The emerging rapper calls herself "the first lady of German trap", and it's no wonder why.

Trap music is a genre that’s hard to pin down or write about concisely. To this day, journalists debate what actually defines trap music and separates it from other forms of mainstream hip hop without coming to a unified conclusion. What we do know, however, is that trap originated as a sub-genre to hip hop in America’s deep South at the beginning of the 2000s. In 2004, the genre shot to mass popularity thanks to certified bangers provided by the likes of Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy (remember “Lemonade”, anyone?). Following those two came Migos, Future, Chief Keef, and many other blunt and charismatic (mostly) men with an affinity for flaunting their vices that quickly seduced young America. Though each artist is unique in their own right, they share a musical red thread: they often work with dub-inspired hip hop beats to spit about drug-fuelled, grimy subjects and the underbelly of street life. Collectively, their sonic influences and public personas of “I’m rich and famous but still street AF” perpetuate an image of rapping from the streets, about the streets and to the streets—in a wholly American context.

COMPLEX writes the genre has been commodified, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that European rappers have succumbed to the debaucherous allure of trap in their own music, too. However, it may still seem a bit odd that a music genre stemming from the diamonds-and-despair image of hustling, black America would translate to a flourishing trap music scene in primarily white, middle-class Germany. Yet over the past few years, that’s exactly what’s been happening: a cluster of German trap artists are increasingly dominating the European charts—the most promising of whom is Hamburg’s Haiyti aka Robbery.

Born to a Croatian father and German mother and hailing from what she describes as the “somewhat ghetto” North of Hamburg, Haiyti’s take on the German Trap scene is equal parts hardcore gangster, art school cool and millennial with #allthefeels. The art school student’s tracks and music videos – usually shot with an iPhone aesthetic in unpretentious locations like laundromats or grocery store parking lots – balance calculated kitsch with unabashed catchiness. For example, the video for “City Tarif” features Haiyti spitting Trap’s signature vocal screech about driving fast in a Lexus Jeep against a backdrop of banal urban sprawls and a mid-size car as sensible as your dad’s cargo shorts. Check out her video for “Runter von der Straße/Quadro”and you’ll see her taking meticulous irony to another level. Against truly infectious and certified banger production, she embraces all the emblems of the glamorous rap lifestyle like cars, crews, swaggy clothes and cocky poses; yet she does it all with a near-slapstick nonchalance, leaning back clumsily, donning assorted dollar-store wigs and rapping against gloomy buildings that practically ooze with suburban boredom.

However, watch the video for “Globus” and you’ll see her doing a 180: Haiyti milks the effects of a vocoder to the fullest over cheesy romantic production, moodily walking around in virgin-white feminine outfits on a picturesque lake. Although “Globus” proves she has musical breadth, the video still operates within the same parameters of faux-ghetto aesthetics, playful irony and self-conscious hipness that define her other work. It further cements that this “White Girl Mit Luger” is the embodiment of the millennial creative: she’s guiltlessly globalized in her influences and hyper-conscious of the social currency of her work. However, the sheer rate and diversity of her musical output – since 2016, she’s released six short albums and dropped over thirty music videos – take her beyond marketable trendiness. This artist is talented, ambitious and unafraid to experiment—which is what makes her so damn irresistible to listen to.

Best part? You don’t have to understand German to get into Haiyti’s vibe. Her appeal doesn’t hinge on what she’s saying as much as on the full package: an ironic, self-consciously European interpretation of rap culture and contemporary youth attitude which nails the millennial state of mind more than most emerging artists do today.