By the 1980s, elements of hip hop culture such as Graffiti art and breakdancing had become well known across Western Europe. The music itself became commercially available in the latter half of the decade.
In the early 1990s, Die Fantastischen Vier (The Fantastic Four) became the first German hip hop group to achieve commercial success, and they helped to popularize the genre. According to the European Music Office's report entitled Music in Europe, Die Fantastischen Vier originally appealed to young, mainstream audiences. Displeased by this development, they responded by adopting a harder sound.
Contemporary German hip hop can be divided into two broad categories: commercial and underground.