Far-right rapper who turned hip-hop into anthems of white power now faces jail
A version of this article originally appeared on VICE Germany.
Austria is the source of some of the greatest musical talent of all time, including Mozart, Schubert, Strauss and most recently Conchita Wurst, the drag queen and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. But today we’re talking about a lesser-known and much more dishonored Austrian artist – a rapper known as Mr. Bond, who shares his name with the fictional british spy and another totally independent rapper based in San Antonio, United States.
The far-right musician openly hates blacks, Jews, Muslims, women and gays – anyone who isn’t a white, cis, straight man. Some critics accuse him of having appropriated hip-hop, a black art, to disseminate his ideology. But the truth is, he’s stolen other genres as well – pop, punk, EDM, you name it – to remake otherwise iconic hate speech songs.
His music, which is recorded in English, has helped him become something of a figurehead for other far-right and neo-Nazi supporters in Austria and abroad. At the start of December 2021, the Vienna public prosecutor’s office lodged a complaint against Philip H., 36 – Philip is Mr Bond’s real first name – accusing him of “acting in the spirit of Nazism”, a crime for which he could face a sentence of up to 20 year. Mr Bond’s defense attorney recently filed a complaint, arguing that his client is not the true author of the texts on which the accusation is based. The local court responsible for the case must now decide how to proceed.
Mr. Bond’s origin story dates back to 2016, when he composed his first cover album. His tracks are typically famous hip-hop hits – many by some of black hip-hop’s biggest names, like Jay Z, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg – which he re-records, changing the lyrics to neo-Nazi lyrics. Titles include âWhite and I Luv It,â a remake of âI Luv Itâ by Young Jeezy; âShady Kikesâ, after âDay ‘N’ Niteâ by Kid Cudi; and “Pop Some Fags” after “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore. He even turned Jay Z’s classic â99 Problemsâ into â88 Problemsâ, a reference to HH – short for âHeil Hitlerâ.
The irony of an Austrian declaring pride in his white European roots by performing in a language and style created by blacks halfway around the world is not lost on anyone. Nonetheless, over the next three years, Mr. Bond released four more of these albums, two of which were named after Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf. The cover of the first record shows Hitler in a thick gold chain and sunglasses, posing in front of a limousine and a chariot. The second also features the genocidal dictator, this time in a Supreme bob posing in front of a mushroom cloud, a reference to an NWA Eazy E album cover.
In January 2021, Mr Bond was arrested for spreading Nazi propaganda and sedition. At the time, he was living with his parents. While searching the scene, police found weapons, Nazi and neo-Nazi accessories, hard drives with subjects of interest to the investigation – and the lyrics to his songs.
Prior to his arrest, Mr. Bond had been very active on 8chan (now renamed 8kun) and on far-right forums on the dark web. There he allegedly connected with an international network of far-right supporters. He also met other neo-Nazi groups in Vienna and had ties to the Identity movement, a pan-European far-right party centered on the figure of Austrian politician Martin Sellner.
According to investigation by the Austrian daily Der Standard, he even helped the Republican politician and Holocaust denier’s 2018 election campaign Patrick Petit (Little lost that election and was subsequently kicked out of the California GOP convention due to his extremist beliefs). And yet Mr. Bond had no love for another Republican famous for his racism – in his song “Dear Donald” he accused former US President Trump of betraying White America.
For years, Mr. Bond cultivated followers on the neo-Nazi internet scene, while also falling under the radar of local authorities. That changed in 2019, the year that saw multiple far-right terrorist attacks – the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Brenton H. Tarrant, 28, killed 51 people attending Friday prayers. in two local mosques; the Halle shooting, which saw Stephan Baillet, 29, attempt to storm a synagogue in East Germany on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, killing a passerby and a man in a kebab shop; and the assassination of center-right German politician Walter LÃ¼bcke, murdered at his home for his pro-refugee stance.
Mr Bond praised the assassination, calling the killer a “German hero” on one of the forums he was active on. He also reportedly translated the entire 87-page manifesto published by the Christchurch striker into German and posted it for distribution.
It seems it was precisely these links to far-right terrorism that brought Mr. Bond down. Inspired by the attack on Christchurch, the shooter from Halle also decided to broadcast his attack on Twitch, using a helmet-mounted camera. Baillet then performed a song by none other than Mr. Bond for part of the Twitch stream.
Based on reviews seen by Der StandardMr. Bond initially seemed enthusiastic about the Halle bombing and its marginal role in it. However, five days after the incident, he changed his mind. “Now it’s official,” he said online. “The guy only shot two Germans, no Muslims or anything like that. A huge failure.”
Despite his disappointment, the track put him directly on the authorities’ radar. It is still not known if the police examined him before then; in fact, Mr. Bond’s songs were widely available on all major streaming platforms, which was one of the ways he funded his work. (These songs have now been deleted, so it’s difficult to estimate how many people were listening to them on Spotify, Apple Music, and other mainstream music services.)
Mr Bond’s arrest has had quite an effect on far-right circles. Fans have complained about the neo-Nazi groups on Telegram. One administrator commented, “He has given us a glimpse of a better world where we are unleashed and our opinions are expressed in its entirety,” adding, “May our memories of him never fade from our thoughts.
When we think of white supremacist music, we tend to imagine groups of punk skinheads shouting hate lyrics into a microphone. That was not Mr. Bond’s point. Sam Sutherland, music YouTuber, podcaster and author, devoted a full video explaining the existence of white power rap in 2013. âWhite supremacists need to keep it fresh,â he says in the clip. âThey need a new medium to get the message out about protecting the white race. They need hip-hop.
By now, the far-right’s remarkable ability to repackage its old-school hatred in new ways – say, with memes – is pretty well known. In the 1940s, billboards and Nazi propaganda films were one way to do this. White power rap is another. As long as fascism can embrace and adapt to pop culture, it will remain as insidious as ever.