Controversial German rapper Bushido – who's sold millions of records, written a bestselling autobiography and starred as himself in the 2010 biopic of his life – has unveiled plans to start his own political party, The Hollywood Reporter notes.
Bushido (real name Anis Mohamed Youssef Ferchichi) took to Twitter earlier this week to announce his move into politics. During a series of ensuing interviews in which Bushido insisted his political ambitions were not a joke or publicity stunt, he told the magazine Bild that he was seeking to become mayor of Berlin and win a state parliamentary seat.
Born in West Germany, the son of a Tunisian father and German mother, Bushido told Bild that while the platform for his as-yet unnamed party is not complete, he's committed to helping those in problem areas, especially immigrants.
One of Germany's most successful musicians (he's scored three Number One records in his home country), Bushido has also been a lighting rod for controversy. He's been widely criticized – even boycotted by other German musicians when he was honored at an awards ceremony last year – for lyrics that are often perceived as misogynistic, homophobic, violent and pro-drug use.
When asked if there would be any connection between his violent lyrical content and new party, Bushido told Bild that those lyrics were in the past, that he has nothing against gays, and that he loves women. The rapper also said he was hoping to receive help for his cause from celebrity friends including actor Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run, Munich), former Wimbledon champ Boris Becker and music producer Dieter Bohlen, who is a judge on Germany's version of American Idol.