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Kurdo, or Kurdo Jalal Omar Abdel Kader, is an Iraqi rapper with a Kurdish background, but who mostly raps in German. Since 2011, Kurdo has gradually made a name for himself in the German music scene. In the meantime, the Heidelberger has become an integral part of German rap and is also taking his first steps as an entrepreneur outside of music.
Kurdo Jalal Omar Abdel Kader was born in Iraq and spent the first years of his life there before he fled with his family from Saddam Hussein’s regime in the 1990s at the age of eight and found his new home in Heidelberg. Kurdo then spent the first year with his family in refugee accommodation in the center of Heidelberg before the family was able to move into an apartment on the outskirts of Heidelberg in the Emmertsgrund district. The Emmertsgrund, known for a high proportion of migration and not always easy conditions, has retained a very special role for Kurdo to this day. In his childhood, the family had little money due to government support, so Kurdo dealt early on with how to earn money and support the family. So he took on various part-time jobs and, just like a rapper, tried his hand at being an anabolic steroid dealer.
However, he decided to go the legal way and always remained true to his passion, rap. In 2011 he finally began to publish videos on YouTube, which quickly celebrated success and also caught the attention of the rapper’s brother, who then introduced Kurdo to the arrest warrant and thus significantly accelerated his career.
Kurdo’s career corresponds to the cliché of the “American Dream – from rags to riches”. Came to Germany as a refugee and is now a celebrated and award-winning rapper with millions in the bank account. However, the way to the top was anything but easy. Only a lot of perseverance and a little bit of luck made this amazing career possible. After the first contract with the label of Haftbefehl and smaller successes, the separation soon followed. Nevertheless, Kurdo was not discouraged, looked for a new label and continued to work hard on his success. After several collaborations with other rappers, he then released his debut album “Slum Dog Millionär” in 2014 and placed himself in the top chart positions in German-speaking countries. Just over a year later, the second album “Almaz” followed on the newly founded label of the same name. His third album “Criminals from the Desert” even made it to number two in the charts in Germany. the single “Ya Salam” alone sold more than 200,000 copies. In addition to music, Kurdo is also building up other mainstays. He is now the owner of a sisha bar and a restaurant in Heidelberg and also sells his own tobacco under the name “Almaz”.
highlights of his career
2014: First album “Slum Dog Millionär” is released
2015: second album “Almaz” appears
2016: third album “Criminals from the Desert appears”
2017: “Gold” for selling more than 200,000 units of “Ya Salam”
“If we do street rap, then autotune has little business.”
“Mom always said: Do something with a ballpoint pen as a profession. And I thought: Wow, me with a briefcase.”
“If I can afford something, I’ll do it. But I don’t force myself to have any luxuries.”
The quotes make it clear that Kurdo has remained a down-to-earth star. He hasn’t forgotten his roots, which his stage name alone makes clear. Kurdo wants to be a role model for others with a similar fate. Anyone can do it if they stay true to themselves and work hard on themselves and their success.
Kurdo still has a very close connection to his home town of Heidelberg in the Emmertsgrund district. This district, often referred to as a focal point, was the center of his life as a child. His parents still live there and he can still often be found there. Some of his music videos were also filmed there.
Kurdo now runs the “Almaz tasty” restaurant and the “Al Hayat” shisha bar in downtown Heidelberg.
Kurdo has, among many other artists, already worked together with the singer Ardian Bujupi several times. Not without reason – Bujupi also comes from Heidelberg’s Emmertsgrund.