Die Fantastischen Vier (German pronunciation: [diː fanˈtastɪʃən ˈfiːɐ̯]), also known as Fanta 4, is a German hip hop group from Stuttgart, Germany, named after the German title of Marvel’s Fantastic Four. The members are Michael Bernd Schmidt alias Smudo, Andreas Rieke alias And.Ypsilon, Thomas Dürr alias Hausmeister (super/building manager) Thomas D and Michael ‘Michi’ Beck alias Dee Jot Hausmarke. They were among the first groups to rap in the German language.
In the middle of the 1980s, Rieke and Schmidt formed the Terminal Team, Dürr and Beck joined in 1989. Under the new name Die Fantastischen Vier (literally: “The Fantastic Four”), they made German hip hop, or Deutschen Sprechgesang (German spoken-song) as they called it, popular in Germany. Although there were German hip-hop artists prior to them (such as Advanced Chemistry from Heidelberg) it was Die Fantastischen Vier who registered the first chart hit with their 1992 single “Die da?!” from the album 4 Gewinnt, hitting #2 in Germany and #1 in Austria and Switzerland.
They are also the German voices of the Penguins (Michael Beck as Skipper, Thomas D. as Kowalski, Andreas Rieke as Rico and Michael Bernd Schmidt as Private) in the Madagascar film series.