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Culture

French 'Hang Whites' rapper to face trial in January

media Nick Conrad Capture d'écran YouTube

A French rapper, who soared from obscurity to notoriety because of a track entitled Hang Whites, is to face trial in January. And a British newsreader has received unwanted attention - and death threats - because he has the same name.

Police questioned rapper Nick Conrad on Friday and charged him with incitement to murder, setting a date for a court appearance on 9 January.

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to 45,000 euros.

Conrad, who averaged 40 monthly listeners on Spotify and had 186 subscribers to his YouTube channel before the furore, shot to fame after the track PLB - for Pendez les Blancs (Hang Whites) - was shared by controversy-courting comic Dieudonné and then by far-right groups who cited it as proof of "anti-white racism".

The video accompanying the track reverses the roles of racist attacks by whites on blacks, while the soundtrack intones "Catch [white babies] quickly and hang their parents".

It has been blocked by YouTube.

Mainstream politicians weighed in, condemning the track and an inquiry was launched.

Intended to shock

The Cameroonian-origin performer says he intended to shock by "inversing the roles of the white man and black man", "although not to this extent".

His lawyers, David Applebaum and Chloé Arnoux, said the investigators "were very keen to find the exact meaning of the words" when they questioned him and pointed out that the charge does not mention racism.

Conrad himself said he hoped the court would have as attentive a hearing in court as he did on Friday afternoon.

"I think a text deserves to be examined in depth and not just superficially," he commented.

Death threats for BBC presenter

Meanwhile in the UK, a BBC local radio presenter also called Nick Conrad has appealed for peace after receiving death threats from people who mistook him for his French namesake.

Conrad, who works in mainly rural Norfolk, described himself as "the fatter and more talented one" in a tweet.

"I’ve spent the past twenty mins translating death threats!" he told his followers and new-found enemies. "Crumbs my GCSE French is struggling to keep up with all the profanities."

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