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BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin's mayor has filed a legal complaint against German rapper Bushido who released a provocative video containing anti-gay lyrics and which critics say contains fantasies about murder and incites violence.
Bushido, 34, is no stranger to controversy but his latest tirade targets individual politicians and the video shows images of what appears to be a man igniting a car with a body stuffed in the boot.
A spokesman for openly gay Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit said the Social Democrat (SPD) had lodged a legal complaint against the rapper for abusive comments among other things.
The heated reaction to the song "Stress without Cause" and its video highlights German sensitivities towards homophobic, racist and extreme views due to the Nazis' crimes against Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and others.
The rapper, whose real name is Anis Mohamed Youssef Ferchichi, has been widely condemned by a range of politicians and newspaper commentators. Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said the video "crossed the line" and now it was a matter for the law.
Even fellow artists have joined the chorus. Pop singer Heino, one of Germany's most successful musicians, told Bild daily that the rapper's "criminal energy" should be stopped.
Graphic comments about Wowereit shocked many politicians and opposition Greens' lawmaker Claudia Roth was one of several other targets:
"I shoot at Claudia Roth and she'll get holes like a golf course."
Such lyrics have raised fears about violence and a media watchdog said it was looking at the song to decide if it should be banned for minors.
In a television interview Bushido defended his rap.
"I may have overshot the mark a bit but I would not in any way excuse myself here," he told N-24, saying he was not inciting violence.
"If I shoot, then I only do it with words and not with anything else," he said.
Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Michael Roddy