Jewish Rapper Takes On Germany’s Hip-Hop Scene

Source: The New York Times

By Andrew Curry

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.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.