Heinrich J. Liechtenstein was an Austrian composer who lived from 1801-1826 known for his ahead-of-it's-time compositions that scholars believe to closely resemble "gangsta rap."
Liechtenstein was born on February 14th, 1801 in the small village of Hoobenstanken to parents Arnold and Verna. As a young boy, he showed absolutely no interest in music, or the arts of any kind. All he did was sit and "beat-box" with his mouth. Of course, beat-boxing didn't exist back then, so he was just the kid who spit all over the place. No one, at any point, had any desire to hear his music, but he insisted on continuing to do it. Amid criticism, he found one old, deaf composer who taught him how to turn these ramblings from his spittle into coherent music.
Following this music lesson, 15 year-old Liechtenstein moved to the big city to pursue a career in music. His compositions, or beats, as they'd be more accurately described, were not readily accepted, and Liechtenstein was forced to live in near poverty.
Liechtenstein first found success when he piqued the interest of his music professor at the University of Vienna. This professor, Joseph Grizwald, knew that at some point, his music would catch on, but he didn't know when. This is why, about 150 years ahead of when he should have, Grizwald made Liechtenstein the main act in the school's final concert for the year of 1819. With the crowd on the edges of their seats, Liechtenstein lead his orchestra, composed almost entirely of percussionists, in a rendition of a symphony that more closely resembled the beat to 50 Cent's In Da Club than anything from that century. The crowd stood, in awe of this new music, and roared in raucous applause.
Following this concert, Liechtenstein composed hundreds of symphonies every year, and released them in packages bound with different adhesives, leading to the nickname of "Mixed-tapes." The efficiency with which Liechtenstein wrote and released these symphonies astounded music critics and puzzled the public. Contemporaries like Mozart were jealous of the revolutionary sound that Liechtenstein brought to every project. He even began collaborating with other composers to create symphonies "Featuring" them. Every step he took brought him closer and closer to absolute fame.
Unfortunately, the notorious rivalry between Western and Eastern Austrians caught up with Liechtenstein. Many of his symphonies contained explicit threats towards composers affiliated with Eastern Austria. As a gesture of malice, these composers would regularly send bug-infested raw meat to each other, resulting in the usage of the term beefing to describe the conflicts. Once this beefing got out of hand, a hit on Liechtenstein was set up by Eastern Austrian composers. Early one morning in April of 1826, Liechtenstein was walking his dog down the street and got mowed down by musket-fire. Authorities were never able to apprehend the shooters.
It is believed that the very first rappers drew much of their inspiration from the compositions of Liechtenstein, although he had faded into obscurity by the time rap became popular. Many beats of hit rap songs can be traced directly back to symphonies of Liechtenstein's, and if not his music were not in the public domain, would be subject to lawsuit. Above all, Liechtenstein is credited with creating all modern hip-hop culture long before any of it ever existed, a feat that is so strange, historians like to pretend he never existed.