A top German music ceremony has spectacularly hit the wrong note by presenting a rap duo accused of anti-semitic lyrics with a prize on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
At the ECHO music awards, which saw tops artists such as Kylie Minogue and Rita Ora attend, the rap album ‘Young, Brutal and Handsome 3’ by Kollegah and Farid Bang was recognized for selling more than 200,000 copies.
However, the decision by organizers to award the record, which contains the lyrics “I’m doing another Holocaust, coming with a Molotov” and “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners,” has caused a backlash from within the music circles, as well as the airline industry.
Airbus CEO Thomas Enders has reportedly hit out at the prize, which remarkably came on Yom Hashoah – the Holocaust Memorial Day observed by Jewish communities around the world.
“That hurts Germany’s international reputation. Is anti-Semitism becoming acceptable in Germany?” he asked in Bild am Sonntag. Meanwhile, Berlin classical group Noto Quartet has handed back its 2017 ECHO award in protest.
“Until recently, the ECHO was in our eyes the biggest music prize in Germany,” the band wrote on its official Facebook. “The fact that this prize of open racism is tolerated… it is not acceptable to us. We very much regret this decision, but the ECHO trophy, which was still in our rehearsal studio in Berlin, is now nothing more than a symbol of shame.”
Both Farid Bang and Kollegah have rejected claims they are anti-semitic, with the latter artist reportedly offering Jewish fans free “lifetime” tickets.
Der BVMI zur aktuellen Debatte: “Wir möchten in aller Deutlichkeit sagen, dass auch wir als Verband und Veranstalter des ECHO jede Art von Antisemitismus, Fremdenfeindlichkeit, Frauenfeindlichkeit, Homophobie und Gewaltverherrlichung ablehnen.” https://t.co/MLXCOxgdeD
— BVMI (@BVMI_music) April 15, 2018
Chairman of the BVMI German Music industry, Dr Florian Drucke, has now announced that the decision to give the pair the award will be revised.
“We would like to make it very clear that we too, as an association and organizer of the ECHO, reject all forms of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia and the glorification of violence,” his statement read.
“As a consequence, the prize will now be revised on the decision of the board of directors,” it added.
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