Daniel Kretschmar (b. September 19, 1971), better known by his stage-name D-Flame, is an Afro-German hip hop and reggae musician of Jamaican origin.
D-Flame grew up in Frankfurt where he encountered racism at an early age, often witnessing how his mother was insulted in spiteful fashion. His childhood experiences alongside his literary encounters with Black Power icons like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, shaped his outlook on life strongly. He grew up with Jamaican reggae and African American soul music. He encountered hip hop music at a young age, in the early 1980s when he first heard the Sugarhill Gang's Rapper’s Delight at a party. From then he was captivated, participating in the mid-1980s breakdance wave in Germany and worshiping films like Wild Style.
He spent many years rapping in the rough Frankfurt underground, where he flourished, thanks to the support of his mentor, Rebel X of the Black Angel Music, in 1991 even being named best rapper of the city. He was a member of two noteworthy Frankfurt groups, namely Foreign Accent and Asiatic Warriors. The latter, aside from D-Flame, comprised Azanin (aka Azad), Combad and A-Bomb. They released an EP, called Told Ya, which was to remain the only one, as the group split up in 1994. That year he traveled to Jamaica, where he came in contact with the local reggae and dancehall scene, inspiring him to work with established German reggae soundsystems Soundquake from Bielefeld and the renowned Pow Pow Movement from Cologne.
His first commercial success was with Bremerhaven's DJ Stylewarz, appearing on his classic 12"-track Heiß wie Feuer ("Hot as Fire"). In 1999 he met Beginner rapper/producer Jan Eißfeldt who inspired him with his upstart label Eimsbusch, to which he signed. His first single was a small-release track with dancehall MC Tolga, called Highsgeliebtes Gras ("'highly' loved weed"), a love song for marijuana. His first larger scale release was the bombastic Heißer ("hotter") which was made its mark in the German charts. His name recognition increased in hip hop circles through features on Eimsbusch affiliated B-sides and remixes and an appearance as a support acts on Dynamite Deluxe’s and Ferris MC’s tours. The album Basstard ("base-tard") was accordingly a major success with its blend of hip hop and ragga and features like long-time associate Guru, Elephant Man, Samy Deluxe and Jan Eißfeldt. Flame's duet with the latter, entitled Sorry was released as a single. Many underground rappers began during this time to dissociate themselves from the Hamburg City mainstream and Flame's old Asiatic Warriors colleague Azad launched a wide-ranging diss against commercial hip hop, causing tension between the two former friends as Flame sided with his new Hamburg City posse.
In 2001, Flame toured with Eißfeldt who had released a reggae album himself, Denyo and Illo77 on the 60 Hertz-tour after having released his first single of reggae-proper, Sie macht mich glücklich ("She Makes Me Happy"). Afterwards he participated in the anti-Nazi Brothers Keepers project, rapping interchangeably with Samy Deluxe on the single Adriano. His text expressed much of his anger at German culture, saying: [Samy:] "Ich hörte schon im Kindergarten Weiße zu mir [Flame/Samy:] Nigger sagen". ("Already in kindergarten I heard Whites calling me a nigger"). He continued in this vein with his 2002 autobiographical album, tellingly entitled Daniel X – eine deutsche Geschichte ("Daniel X – A German Story"). On it, he confronts his life in Germany in classic storytelling rap, revealing much entrenched racism in German society. Many hip hop fans rejected what they perceived to be a pseudo-black power pose and the record was not particularly successful, but was critically acclaimed and welcomed as a more mature work than Basstard.
Stoically, D-Flame continued touring Germany while preparing his next album. While Daniel X was purely a hip hop album, D-Flame decided to explore his dancehall roots, which had also become commercially viable since the success of Eißfeldt’s reggae album (as Jan Delay), the Berlin ensemble Seeed and Gentleman from Cologne and due to the growth of a reggae underground. In late 2003, he released the purely reggae/dancehall album Unaufhaltsam ("Unstoppable") and toured with his band, the KP Crew. The album was much more successful and catapulted D-Flame back into Germany’s musical mainstream with his single Stopp.
D-Flame's trademark voice is incredibly deep and sonorous. His famous sound "aaaaoooooo", with which he begins almost every song has become a favorite among fans. His lyrics are intensely political, addressing racism, life in Germany, hip hop & reggae lifestyle, marijuana laws etc.
Even his hip hop tracks clearly reveal Flame's dancehall roots, his beats are very deep and vibrant and he often exhibits dancehall style double-beats in his tracks, which was unusual when he first became successful. He also sports more relaxed reggae tracks on which Flame even sings. On stage he usually performs with his live band, the KP Crew.
D-Flame (* 19. September 1971; bürgerlich Daniel Kretschmer) ist ein deutscher Rapper & Reggae-Artist aus Frankfurt am Main. Er veröffentliche bisher 3 Alben. Basstard machte 2000 den Anfang. Als eine Mischung zwischen Hip Hop und Dancehall lässt sich sein erstes Album beschreiben. Tendenziell Richtung Hip Hop ging sein zweites Album "Daniel X - eine schwarze deutsche Geschichte" aus dem Jahre 2002. Ma könnte es als audiobiographisches Werk bezeichnen, es ist eine Biographie in Liedern verpackt. Sein bisher letztes Album war dann ausschließlich Reaggae- & Dancehall-Musik. Es erschien 2003 und trägt den Titel "Unaufhaltsam". Er hat schon mit bekannten und erfolgreichen Künstlern wie Samy Deluxe, Jan Delay, Denyo 77, Xavier Naidoo, Afrob und J-Luv zusammen gearbeitet.
D-Flame ist eines der Mitglieder von Brothers Keepers. Außerdem war D-Flame Mitglied beim ehemaligen Hamburger Hip-Hop-Label Eimsbush-Entertainment.
Außerdem moderiert er immer Dienstags eine Sendung über Rap, Dancehall und Reggae beim Frankfurter Jugendsender You FM.