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Legal action against violent rap

July 15, 2013

The mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, has filed legal action against a song by German rapper Bushido. The song – which contains violent language directed at specific people – could soon become banned for minors.

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - DECEMBER 05: Rap star Bushido performs on the stage during the Dome 48 on December 05, 2008 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Patrik Stollarz/Getty Images)
Rapper BushidoImage: Getty Images

Bushido's song is called "Stress ohne Grund" ("Stress for no Reason"), but German authorities have seen reason enough to take action against the song. On Monday, the head of Germany's Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors said paperwork had been filed to investigate whether or not the song belonged on 'the index,' which includes media that minors are not allowed to purchase or access online.

The song, which has also been released as a music video, features Bushido rapping about "coming to the party and causing stress for no reason." The rap contains several discriminatory sections aimed at homosexuals and names specific public figures as targets of violence. Bushido also raps: "I'll shoot at Claudia Roth and she'll get holes like a golf course," referring to the head of the Greens party.

A spokesman for Wowereit - Berlin's openly gay mayor who was also targeted in the song - said on Monday that "the content of this video provided grounds to file a complaint," and that it would be up to prosecutors to determine if there was evidence of an indictable offence.

Bushido has drawn criticism in the past for homophobic, anti-Semitic, and misogynist song lyrics.

Speaking on Germany's N24 news broadcaster on Monday, the rapper said his song did not promote actual violence.

"I want to make it clear, that this should not at all be considered a call to violence," he said. "Of course it's provocative – I used the means I have available to me as a rapper. I think that people who listen to rap every day know how to handle that."

Regarding the lyrics directed at Roth, he said "if I shoot at all, then only with words."

mz/jm (dpa, AFP)