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"Sieg whaaat?"
January 12, 2006 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Everybody knows that gangsta rap promotes sexism, homophobia... and fascism. Take Bushido, for instance - the Berlin rapper of Tunisian descent that all the neo-Nazis love. Confused? (nyt) Well, so are the Germans. And then we're not even talking about Fler, whose "This is black-red-gold, hard and proud!" nationalist lyrics never fail to piss off the German papers (in German), and who likes to pose in his videos with a nice symbolic eagle. (Then again, Helmut Kohl didn't mind.) Still, Fler's flag-waving, eagle-loving rhymes are no match for Bushido's "Salute, stand to attention, I am the leader like 'A'". The A stands for Adolf, you know.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (28 comments total)

 
Heard an item on these guys on today's "The Music Biz" on the BBC World Service, and thought I'd make an FPP about it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:21 PM on January 12, 2006


Uh, upon review, the "Helmut Kohl didn't mind" link might resize your browser window. It does for me, FF/XP.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:22 PM on January 12, 2006


I miss the good old days when people would just rock the mike like Fidel Castro.
posted by furtive at 5:40 PM on January 12, 2006


I've noticed that not enough people are making use of the pre-Godwinized tag these days.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:46 PM on January 12, 2006


I've noticed that not enough people are making use of the pre-Godwinized tag these days.

Yeah. You learn from some things.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:49 PM on January 12, 2006


This is, indeed, good news for the insane.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:53 PM on January 12, 2006


Hey, that 'A' could stand for anyone. Given Germany's anti-Nazi party laws, I'm sure it probably stands for 'Augustus'. You know, the leader of the Romans. Or 'Alfred' the Great, King of England. Or even 'Arthur', leader of those round-table guys.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:03 PM on January 12, 2006


No worse way to make a point than to open with...."Everybody knows..."
posted by ParisParamus at 7:04 PM on January 12, 2006


People find taboos and exploit them.

The Germans and the Austrians have laws that create a taboo a so you get people who use the taboo. If Germany and Austria were to introduce free speech then these things would lose their taboo and a lot of their attraction. The Swastika would become just like the flag of the Confederacy. The Communist symbols and Communist rhetoric are merely regarded as symbols and rhetoric of a murderous, innefective regime as would the Nazi symbols if their taboo was taken away.
posted by sien at 7:09 PM on January 12, 2006


"bushido" eh. how strange.
posted by grafholic at 7:17 PM on January 12, 2006


No worse way to make a point than to open with...."Everybody knows..."

You've provided plenty of counter-examples.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:51 PM on January 12, 2006


It always saddens me that Germany has those laws forbidding Nazi imagery and such, because the Nazi's lifted them and it only draws attention to them yada yada...

But if they repealed them, you know they would catch all hell for it.
posted by phrontist at 7:51 PM on January 12, 2006






One of the problems is that for much of Germany (especially the liberal parts) patriotism is equated with nationalism, which is then conflated with Nazism. The article on Fler also mentions a band called MIA, which has also attracted negative attention simply for invoking the colors of the flag.

Unfortunately, National Socialism is a major part of German history, and it's hard for many Germans to move on from it or be able to forgive their country for harboring it. There is a tremendous amount of guilt that leads to this attempt at completely eliminating all Nazi imagery while still trying to acknowledge the shameful truths of that regime.

Of course, misogynist lyrics mean pretty much the same thing in any culture.
posted by kyleg at 9:17 PM on January 12, 2006


lol, i'm ashamed that you noticed german tv rap :D
posted by suni at 10:04 PM on January 12, 2006


First, they came for the posing, ignorant tunisian immigrant wannabe-rap-superstars, and I did nothing...
posted by slater at 10:17 PM on January 12, 2006


oh, and the german eagle is not a nazi sign
posted by suni at 10:40 PM on January 12, 2006


and die ärzte (mentioned in the 3rd link) are not rap music

the actual story of tv rap uniting white trash and immigrant kids is really interesting and probably unique, but these articles are crap
posted by suni at 10:55 PM on January 12, 2006


If you have a taboo, artists are going to exploit it to be "bad boys" and get attention and money, including rappers and rockers who are just aiming for the attention of young males of all colors who love nothing more than pissing off their parents (Sex Pistols anyone?). The New York Times covered Rammstein last year:
The members of Rammstein report themselves puzzled - and wounded - by the controversy over their music. So, too, with the uproar over their use of a clip from "Olympische Spiele" - a Leni Riefenstahl documentary commissioned by the Nazis in 1936 as "a song of praise to the ideals of National Socialism" - in one of their videos. They had, they said, used it only because it was so pretty.

. . .


Most compelling is its lead singer. Dressed in an imperial German military uniform, Mr. Lindemann gave off an air of such brute masculinity and barely contained violence that it seemed that he could have reached into the crowd, snatched up a fan, and bitten off his head. He commands a low, powerful bass rarely used in contemporary pop music, untrained but electrifying. The audience members, enthralled, began pumping their fists in the air.

The band then introduced one of its most notorious songs, "Links," with the sound of metrically precise, marching jackboots. Links means left, and the band claims this song is an expression of its left-wing sensibilities. The jackboots were followed by a furious chorus: "Links-Zwo-Drei-Vier! Links-Zwo-Drei-Vier!" ("Left-Two-Three-Four! Left-Two-Three-Four!") The German language lent itself to the powerful, rhythmic song. The keyboardist stomped about in a German military helmet. Mr. Lindemann performed an exaggerated goose step. The crowd shouted "Hi!" in unison, which sounded just different enough from "Heil" that the resemblance could be denied.
posted by dgaicun at 11:21 PM on January 12, 2006


If Germany and Austria were to introduce free speech then these things would lose their taboo and a lot of their attraction.

I don't know if we can so be sure about that, but in any case I don't think we can compare different approaches as if they could work the same everywhere, without considering the different histories of those countries. And if there comes a time to rethink those laws in Germany and Austria, it'll still have to be based on that context, not what is done in other countries which didn't have the same history.
posted by funambulist at 2:26 AM on January 13, 2006


Sounds like a-la eminem white guy with time limited, DRM protected, money grabbing assholines with an affliction-look on his face to attract protective females ( defiant rebel even more cursed then twice Baudelaire squared xcept she doesn't know who Baudelaire was, Paris Hilton boyfriend ??? ) masculine enough not to look like a sissy yet not aggressive..he'll be an hit with closeted male homosexuals I guess ?

I can't find a translation from german of the abovesaid scandalous lyrics, some GermanMetaFite (gruss gott !) could help us ?

Also I guess it's the usual controversial scandal machine going on...we're not bad, the gubment is evil, it's not like we're using nazist based suggestive lyrics to earn ourselves a decent living of some million dollah..mom needs medicine and a BMW.
posted by elpapacito at 2:46 AM on January 13, 2006


I'm not saying that violence is in ANY way related to hateful rap music, but I do think that legalizing Nazi symbols (and yes, I'm very much aware that the swastika is actually not a Nazi symbol) as suggested in some comments here, would send the entirely wrong message to people, like, say, the five boys who brutally beat up a 12-year-old kid of Ethiopian origin in a nearby village the other day. This taboo exists for a reason.

Also, from skimming the German interview linked to in the FPP, it seems that hints of fascism aren't the only gripe people have with Bushido's lyrics. He also wrote a song about a gang rape which seems to appeal to teenaged boys. One of the interviewees said that "many girls" claim they're now exclusively referred to as 'cunts' by, say, their male classmates.

His co-author (of a book about German hip-hop) also said that young people don't think in categories of "left" and "right" anymore. If they want to listen to aggressive rap music, they'll listen to aggressive rap music, even if it comes from one of the brown people they'd at least verbally attack if they saw one in their neighborhood. Interesting.
posted by mumble at 3:40 AM on January 13, 2006


No worse way to make a point than to open with...."Everybody knows..."

Everybody knows that an ironic use of ad populum will confuse the hell out of ParisParamus.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:56 AM on January 13, 2006


Bushido gets wide airplay on MTV and VIVA in Germany. I know this because I had to endure it, and it wasn't pleasant. Although I had no idea of the content. Get those pesky neo nazi aggressive roaring German rapper kids off my lawn...
posted by fire&wings at 4:29 AM on January 13, 2006


and yes, I'm very much aware that the swastika is actually not a Nazi symbol

Um, it's not?

It may not have been a Nazi symbol before the NSDAP started using it. Now it is.

Just like the burning cross originally goes back to Scotland but has now been co-opted by the KKK, the swastika is inseparable from Nazi associations.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:00 AM on January 13, 2006


Uh, the swastika's still used around the world, especially in parts of Asia, for purposes that have nothing to do with Nazis. It's a powerful religious symbol still, despite its taboo in Western countries.
posted by cherrymocha at 10:21 AM on January 13, 2006


The Swastika would become just like the flag of the Confederacy.

what, you mean just moved from the capitol dome to the front lawn?
posted by 3.2.3 at 2:09 PM on January 13, 2006


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