Source: The New York Times
ESSEN, Germany — A yellow star of David — the sort the Nazis forced Jews to wear — on the sleeve of a white sweatshirt appears near the start of the rapper Sun Diego’s “Yellow Bar Mitzvah” video. Seconds later, a scene shows a yellow Lamborghini in the middle of a neon star of David. Jets of flame from a massive gold menorah punctuate rapid-fire rhymes about guns, drugs and money.
“Yellow Bar Mitzvah,” released last year, is a rare German gangsta rap recording in which Hebrew features prominently in the lyrics.
And while videos mixing menorahs and yellow stars of David with guns, sports cars and bikini-clad women pushing wheelbarrows full of cocaine would raise eyebrows anywhere, in today’s Germany they are particularly notable: Elements of the country’s booming rap and hip-hop scene have been criticized as anti-Semitic in recent weeks.
On April 12, a major German music prize was awarded to a duo whose album included the line, “My body is better defined than an Auschwitz inmate’s.” At the ceremony, called the Echo Awards, the rappers were booed. I n the weeks since, several prominent musicians returned their awards in protest, and the awards were canceled. The controversy sparked a national debate over rising anti-Semitism among young people and immigrants, two groups most likely to listen to rap.