German Music Industry Ends Award After Honoring Album with Anti-Semitic Lyrics

30 Apr 2018

The executive board of Germany’s Music Industry Association (BVMI) that it had decided to discontinue the Echo Awards after the prize was awarded to two rappers whose song contains anti-Semitic lyrics. Kollegah and Farid Bang won the Echo for hip-hop for an album whose lyrics referenced physiques “more defined that those of Auschwitz inmates” and called for “another Holocaust; let’s grab the Molotov” cocktails.

Several prominent German musicians returned their own Echo Awards in protest. Kollegah and Farid Bang subsequently apologized for the lyrics, and their record label donated $125,000 towards a campaign to fight anti-Semitism.

BVMI wrote in a statement that “The Echo brand (was) so badly damaged” by the incident “that a complete new beginning is necessary.”

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