Postcard from... Berlin


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The Independent Online

Judges have ruled that the latest hit song from the controversial rap artist Bushido can be sold only to adults.

The lyrics of “Stress  Without Reason” are considered too offensive for youthful ears, and yesterday its sale to under-18s was officially prohibited.

Censors described the track as “brutalising and violent” and said it discriminated against women and homosexuals. Berlin’s openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, is personally insulted in the song lyrics and he is now taking legal action against Bushido.

The singer, born Anis Mohammed Youssef Ferchichi, is half-Tunisian but grew up in Germany where his name has since become synonymous with bad taste and scandal.

He champions, with relish, the causes of violence,  anti-Semitism, homophobia and misogyny. Earlier this year he posted online a map of the Middle East which conspicuously omitted Israel, provoking a furious response from politicians and Jewish community leaders.

As the English-language news site The Local put it: “It is as if he and the German media long ago made an agreement to see how many political correctness red buttons they could hit.”

Yet the power of negative publicity should never be underestimated. Bushido’s offensive track features on an album called NWA (Never Work Again) by a comparatively unknown rap artist called Shindy. It was reported to have sold out in Berlin yesterday.