COLOGNE, Germany - Bushido, a German gangsta rapper whose sometimes homophobic lyrics and comments about women have sparked controversy and condemnation here, has unveiled plans to form his own political party.
The rapper announced his political ambitions to fans via Twitter earlier this week. Bushido followed up with a series of interviews with German newspapers, in which he insisted he was serious about the plan, and the move was not a publicity stunt.
In an interview with Bild, Germany's largest tabloid, Bushido said his goal is to become the mayor of Berlin, or at least win a state parliamentary seat. He said he is looking to enlist several of his VIP friends to his cause, including actor Moritz Bleibtreu (Soul Kitchen), former tennis champion Boris Becker and Dieter Bohlen, a music producer and judge on Germany's version of American Idol.
Bushido is one of Germany's most successful musicians, having sold more than a million albums and produced a number one bestselling autobiography. A 2010 film biopic based on his life, produced by the late Bernd Eichinger and directed by Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex), in which Bushido played himself, was critically panned, but earned nearly $5 million at the local box office.
But the gangsta rapper is also highly controversial. His X-rated lyrics have advocated violence against women and included pro-drugs and homophobic messages. When a German awards ceremony honored him last year, several prominent German musicians protested, calling Bushido a "misogynist" and "criminal."
The news that he plans to enter politics also inspired a series of television and online parodies. The TV comedy show Dasding did a mock-up campaign ad for the "Bushido Party" promoting a platform of more drugs, more silicon implants and more low riders.