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Xatar (main name: Giwar Hajabi, born December 24, 1981 in Kuh-e Qala, Kurdistan Province, Iran) is a German rapper of Kurdish origin. The stage name “Xatar” means danger in Kurdish.
His father is music professor Eghbal Hajabi. In the early 1980s, his parents fled with him to nearby Iraq. At that time, the first Gulf War broke out between the two Middle Eastern countries. After Saddam Hussein’s regime attacked Iraq’s Kurdish minority, his parents were also tortured and imprisoned. He himself was held prisoner near Baghdad for three months.
In the late 1990s, Hajabi began rapping and producing beats in the recording room of a youth center under the pseudonym Xatar, the Kurdish term for “danger”. In 2007 he founded the label Alles oder Nix Records, which signed a distribution deal with Groove Attack. The first artists he signed were Samy and SSIO. His first album, Alles oder nix, was released at the end of November 2008. Other guest contributions can be seen alongside his label mates Samy and SSIO.
In 2011, Alles oder Nix Records signed rapper Schwesta Ewa. He was also working on his second album, playing instrumental music in the evenings and dictating his lyrics into a Dictaphone. He then mailed the tapes to his studio. Although Hajabi was eventually caught and locked up in solitary confinement, the album was completed and supplemented with guest contributions from rappers such as Farid Bang, Nate57, Celo & Abdi, Capo and Eko Fresh and released on his label in April 2012. Album No. 415, named after its prisoner number, entered the German album charts at number 19. It peaked at number 23 in Switzerland and 52 in Austria. Aside from number 415, Alles oder Nix Records also released SSIO’s Spezial Material and BB.UM.SS.N albums during Xatar’s incarceration.
A month after its release, he released Schwesta Ewa’s debut album Kurwa through his label. At the same time he started the production of his third album, for which he was again able to win a number of well-known guests. Baba aller Babas was released in May 2015 and reached number 1 in the German charts. It reached number 3 in Austria and Switzerland. In the same year, Xatar opened the shisha bar Bar Noon in Cologne together with SSIO and two other friends together with SSIO. On October 12, 2015 he published his autobiography Everything or Nothing with riva Verlag: We say the world is yours. Xatar presented the book at the Frankfurt Book Fair and on television. He also founded Kopfticker Records, a second label for rappers who don’t fit on All or Nothing Records. The first artist was Plusmacher with his harvest album.
In early 2016, Xatar performed as part of The Voice Of The Voiceless charity campaign at Berlin’s Columbia Halle to fund an orphanage in northern Iraq. In May 2016, Xatar and Haftbefehl announced their collaborative album The Holland Job with a promotional campaign as part of the TV show Studio Amani. The Berlin label Four Music released it on August 12, 2016. The collaborative album reached number 1 on the charts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Xatar’s debut album earned him accusations of endangering young people. Everything or Nothing has been on List A of indexed media since February 26, 2010. Seven songs were classified as “jeopardizing” by the Federal Office for Media Harmful to Young Persons. The songs appear “brutal” and evoke “violence”. From the Review Board’s point of view, Xatar presents the “exercise of violence as worthy of imitation”. The first-person perspective used gives it a “model character for young recipients”. The “rather descriptive, sometimes socially critical texts of the other songs cannot create an overall context that would be suitable for taking up the statements relevant to the index and giving them a different meaning.”