A little-known French rapper is being investigated for incitement to racial hatred after releasing a song and music video calling on white people to be hanged.
French rapper Nick Conrad, who until yesterday only had 368 subscribers to his Youtube page, is now the focus of heated debate in France after releasing a song entitled "Pendre les blancs" ("Hang the whites").
Conrad defended himself, arguing the underlying message is one of love and not of hate.
The lyrics to the song include: "I go into a nursery and kill white babies, catch them fast and hang their parents, quarter them to pass the time, entertain the black kids of all ages, young and old. Whip them hard, do it so that it stinks of death, and blood gushes."
The accompanying nine-minute-long video, shot in Noisy-Le-Grand, a suburb east of Paris, was uploaded to Youtube on September 17 and removed from the platform on Wednesday evening. It showed a white man being hanged and another with a gun barrel in his mouth.
Right-wing politicians quickly joined the condemnation with Gilbert Collard, an MP from the far-right Rassemblement National (formerly National Front) party calling on the government to "immediately react against this unbearable hatred."
Bruno Retailleau, leader of the right-wing Les Republicains group in the Senate described the song as "intolerable."
"There are words that cannot be said because it's incitement to racial hatred and a provocation to crime!" he added.
The government's spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux, said it condemned Nick Conrad's "heinous and sickening words" with "the most extreme firmness."
He also called on those who broadcast the song to "react as quickly as possible."
His words were echoed by Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, who said that such lyrics were "totally inadmissible."
"Especially when you're a rapper and you have young people among your audience and so, little by little, it imprints itself in their minds and it's in that way that we end up with the worst perversions in our society," he added.
Conrad rejected accusations of incitement to racial hatred, telling RTL radio: "I decided to reverse the system so that everybody, whites and blacks, understand the situation we're all in."
"It's a message of love, more than a message of hatred," he added.
The interministerial delegation for the fight against racism, antisemitism and anti-LGBT hatred has confirmed that it has tasked the Paris prosecutor's office to investigate for "incitement to racial hatred."