German music award canceled amid antisemitism controversy
A firestorm of outrage erupted after the Echo’s Hip-Hop/Urban prize was handed out earlier this month to the rap duo of Kollegah and Farid Bang, who in a song titled “0815” say their bodies are “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners.”
The prize, which is based on sales, had gone to the act after they sold more than 200,000 copies of their album “Young, Brutal and Handsome 3.”
The duo has since apologized, and their record label has put up €100,000 ($125,000) for a campaign to combat antisemitism.
Since the April 12 announcement that the dup had won, several prominent German musicians, including the influential rocker Marius Müller-Westernhagen and well-known classical conductor Daniel Barenboim, have returned awards in protest.
Barenboim released a statement saying the rappers’ lyrics are “clearly antisemitic, misogynist, homophobic and contemptuous of human dignity.”
A number of sponsors have said they will no longer support the event.
Meanwhile, BVMI said that work would begin on rolling out a new prize with a new name, and that workshops to set up the new prize would begin in June.
On Wednesday, people in Germany staged shows of solidarity after the incidents that raised pointed questions about Berlin’s ability to protect its burgeoning Jewish community seven decades after the Holocaust.