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Anis Mohamed Youssef Ferchichi (born 28 September 1978), better known as Bushido, is a German rapper. The word "bushido" is Japanese and means "Way of the Warrior". He also uses the pseudonym Sonny Black, based on Dominic Napolitano. As of 2009, he sold more than 1.5 million albums in Germany alone. He is the owner of the record label ersguterjunge and entrepreneur in the real estate industry.
Life and career:
1978-98: Early life:
Bushido was born of a Tunisian father and a German mother in Bad Godesberg, a small town, part of Bonn in West Germany. Shortly after, his family moved to Berlin. Bushido grew up with his mother and brother, in Berlin-Tempelhof district of former West Berlin. He attended Eckener Gymnasium up to the tenth grade, then changed to another gymnasium before leaving school early, and accumulated a criminal record for drug possession and vandalism. A judge ordered him to attend vocational training as a painter or face a jail term. During the training as a painter, he met and made friend with rapper Fler. Bushido sprayed graffiti under the pseudonym "Fuchs" (fox).
1999-2004: Early career:
See also: King of KingZ
Bushido's career started in 1998, with several demo releases.
On 21 October 2002 Bushido and Fler released the collaboration album Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten. On 14 July 2003 he released his first solo album, Vom Bordstein bis zur Skyline.
2004-05: ersguterjunge, Electro Ghetto, Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten II and Staatsfeind Nr. 1:
In summer 2004, due to differences, he left Aggro Berlin and signed with Urban/Universal. Together with DJ Ilan, he produced a remix of the industrial metal group Rammstein's song "Amerika".
On 25 October 2004 he released his second solo album, Electro Ghetto, which reached number six on the German charts. Three singles from the album were released: "Electro Ghetto" (DE #31, 9 weeks), "Nie wieder" (DE #31, 9 weeks) and "Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt" (DE #29, 8 weeks).
On 4 April 2005 he released his second collaboration album Carlo Cokxxx Nutten II, once again using his alter ego "Sonny Black" but this time recording with Baba Saad rather than Fler. On 4 November 2005 released his third solo album, Staatsfeind Nr. 1.
2006-07: Von der Skyline zum Bordstein zurück and 7:
See also: 7 (Bushido album)
On 1 September 2006 he released his fourth solo album Von der Skyline zum Bordstein zurück (abbreviated as VDSZBZ). The second sampler, ersguterjunge Sampler Vol. 2 - Vendetta, was released on 1 December 2006.
In the beginning of 2007 Bushido founded the girl band Bisou with former candidates of the casting show Popstars. He also bought a mansion for himself and his mother in Berlin Lichterfelde for €1,200,000 plus €800,000 for redecorating.
2008-09: Autobiography, Heavy Metal Payback and Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten 2:
In January 2008 it became known that Bushido and an unknown partner had founded a real estate business. It yielded a million Euros in the first ten months. Bushido released his autobiography Bushido on 8 September, which reached number 1 on the Spiegel bestseller list. His eighth album, Heavy Metal Payback on 10 October 2008.
The video for the single "Für immer jung" caused some controversy because MTV stopped airing it after two days of heavy rotation. The main editorial office decided that the feature with Czech musician Karel Gott didn't fit the image of MTV. In a meeting with Bushido, the chief editors offered to air the video on their other music channel, Viva, but Bushido didn't agree and later forbade MTV and Viva from airing his videos because he couldn't reconcile this with his conscience. Bushido wrote in his forum about the topic:
Ich habe lange an diesem Freitag überlegt. (...) für mich stellte sich einfach nur die Frage ob ich diesen Betrug hinnehmen oder die einzige logische Konsequenz treffen soll. (...) und deswegen habe ich auf MTV geschissen. Egal was passiert, ich übernehme die volle Verantwortung, aber ich kann mir und vor allem Karel Gott in die Augen gucken., (I thought about this friday for a long time. (...) for me it was simply a question of whether I should accept this betrayal or come to the only logical consequence. (..) and that's why I left MTV. No matter what happens, I accept responsibility, but I can still look myself, and above all Karel Gott, in the eye.)
After that, cooperation between Bushido and MTV ended.
As Fler left Aggro Berlin and the label closed down on 1 April, Bushido reached out to his former partner to end their feud. The renewed friendship led to the production of a sequel to the 2002 album Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten. The album is titled Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten 2, as distinguished from the Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten II sequel, recorded with Baba Saad in 2005. The album was released on 11 September, with the single "Eine Chance/Zu Gangsta" and the video promoting it.
2010-11: Film debut and Zeiten ändern dich album, BMW reunion Jenseits von Gut und Böse and 23:
See also: 23 (Bushido & Sido album)
The movie Zeiten ändern dich was shot in and around Berlin from 21 July to mid-September 2009. It was released on 4 February 2010. The movie is based on Bushido's autobiography, featuring Bushido as himself. Uli Edel directed and Bernd Eichinger produced it. 80,000 people watched the movie on the release date.
The soundtrack to the movie, also titled Zeiten ändern dich, was released in three different versions on 19 February 2010.
Bushido and Kay One wrote and recorded "Fackeln im Wind", which was dedicated to the German national football team in honor of the start of the Soccer world cup 2010 and was released on 11 June. Bushido got the idea for the song after meeting football player Sami Khedira during the "Zeiten ändern dich - Live durch Europa" tour.
In August, Bushido reformed the group Berlins Most Wanted, which originally consisted of himself, Bass Sultan Hengzt and King Orgasmus, in 2001 during the King of KingZ era, and added Kay One and Fler to the group. Together they released the album Berlins Most Wanted with a single also called "Berlins Most Wanted".
On 31 March 2011 Bushido released a video on his YouTube channel, in which he confirmed plans for a new album entitled Jenseits von Gut und Böse and the guest appearance of French rapper Booba. On 19 April, his second statement video was published, where he first thanked singer J-Luv for his vocal parts on the single "Vergiss mich", which was released on 22 April in digital format along with the music video. He also presented the producers Rsonist and Benny Blanco and confirmed that Xavier Naidoo from Söhne Mannheims is featured as guest performer on the song "Du bist ein Mensch". His third statement video was published on 28 April on his YouTube channel. In this video, Bushido confirmed that his label mate Kay One has a guest appearance on the album, and introduced DJ Desue as producer. Bushido also announced that the song "Wie ein Löwe" could be downloaded on iTunes the following day.
American record producers DJ Premier, Swizz Beatz, Araab Muzik and R'sonist each contributed one beat for the album. A meeting with Dr. Dre was also intended, but Bushido cancelled due to the high price. Later DJ Premier became disappointed that new vocals were added to the song "Gangster" and that his DJ-cuts were edited without giving him a chance to hear the new version before it was released. However it is unknown if this was Bushido's idea or that of his production team.
In 2011, Sido and Bushido reconciled after an 6-year during dispute, and on 15 August 2011 Sony Music Entertainment stated that a collaboration album of the two rappers, titled 23, release on 14 October. A teaser trailer promoting the project leaked the same day on Bushido's YouTube channel. The first single "So mach ich es" released on 30 September 2011 via internet and the CD single released on 21 October. The music video released via Bushido's YouTube channel on 10 October and later the platform set an age restriction, because the video has been flagged as being inappropriate. At the Echo awards it won in the category "Bestes Video National" (Best video national).
2012-13: AMYF and "Stress ohne Grund":
On 14 June 2012, Bushido announced in an interview with the Bild newspaper that he would found a political party with the aim of becoming mayor of Berlin. The same month he completed an internship for CDU deputy Christian von Stetten in the Paul-Löbe-Haus in Berlin, which led to a lot of criticism due to Bushido's controversial song lyrics and his criminal past.
Bushido announced his eleventh album AMYF via Facebook, which was also available for pre-sale on Amazon. Later the track list and the iTunes version were published. The first announcement video was put online on 22 August 2012, via YouTube on his channel. Bushido confirmed that the deluxe version features a DVD which shows footage of the recording period and also announced Sido, Eko Fresh, Julian Williams (aka J-Luv), MoTrip and Joka as guest performers. On 19 September 2012, Bushido released the second announcement video, in which he announced several producers, including Beatzarre, Djorkaeff, X-Plosive Beats and Phat Cripsy, and represented the other guest performers King Orgasmus One (who is only featured on the Premium edition) and Brutos Brutaloz. The third and last video released on 26 September 2012, where Bushido introduced Frauenarzt and Elmo as last guest features, and announced the premiere of his music video for "Kleine Bushidos" (released via YouTube on 4 October) and the next day the song was available for any digital platform. On 12 October, released AMYF and ranked No. 1 in the album chart position in Germany and Switzerland.
The second single "Theorie & Praxis" (featuring Joka) was released on 9 November 2012, but failed reaching the charts. The third and final single release of the album, "Panamera Flow" (featuring Shindy), released on 15 March 2013, and ranked no. 51 in Germany and Austria.
On 12 July 2013, released Shindy's debut single "Stress ohne Grund", which features Bushido, of his debut album NWA. After its release, the single caused controversy among the media and politicians. In the song, Bushido verbally attacked the politicians Serkan Tören, Claudia Roth and Klaus Wowereit. Tören and Wowereit filed charge against Bushido. The attorney of Berlin also filed charge against him for hate speech, libel, and depiction of violence in his lyrics. The Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons indexed NWA and confirmed it on 5 September 2013. Bushido explained in several television broadcaster and online portals, including ARD and N24, that he didn't want to hurt anyone. His lyrics in the song were just a response to the insults, that Claudia Roth and Serkan Tören had made previously towards him. On 22 November, the district court dismissed the indictment as with regard to artistic freedom.
2014-present: Sonny Black and Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten 3:
On October 25, 2014, Bushido announced via his forum the release date of his twelfth studio album, titled Sonny Black. He also put a link for the Standart, iTunes and the Deluxe edition.
On December 20, 2013, released the music video for "Mitten in der Nacht" via Bushido's YouTube channel.
Prior to the release of the second video "Gangsta Rap Kings", featuring guest appearances by fellow German rappers Kollegah and Farid Bang, Bushido posted two picture on-set via Instagram. The first picture features Bushido and Farid Bang. The second picture features all three rappers with the hashtag "#KKS", referring to the then-up-coming album titles of each rapper: Killa (Farid Bang), King (Kollegah) and Sonny Black (Bushido). The video released on January 24, 2014 via YouTube. The third and last video "Jeder meiner Freunde" released on February 13, 2014, one day before the album's release.
On February 14, 2014, released Sonny Black which ranked No. 1 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In February 2015 Bushido released Carlo, Cokxxx, Nutten 3 short CCN3.
Bushido is often criticized in the media for his misogynistic, nationalist and racist lyrics and for refusing to reject some of his controversial fans.
Hip-hop has always been an expressive outlet for people across ethnic lines, primarily the underprivileged in the United States. This may highlight the parallel between the United States and its macho persona in rap/hip hop music and Bushido's image or glorification of so-called gangsta rap. However, some point to his partial North African ethnicity and collaboration with minority artists, like Azad, Eko Fresh and Cassandra Steen as evidence that Bushido is not racist. The controversy was magnified by the line "Salutiert, steht stramm, ich bin der Leader wie A" ("Salute, stand to attention, I am the leader like A") in Bushido's single "Electro Ghetto".
The "A" is interpreted by many as referring to Adolf Hitler. According to Bushido, the line is a citation from a rap by Azad, who often calls himself "A". Bushido also called this a "willkommene Provokationsmöglichkeit" ("welcome opportunity to provoke").
Misogyny and homophobia:
Bushido provoked much discussion through his use of controversial song lyrics, which can be interpreted as being misogynistic, homophobic, sexist and violence-glorifying. For example, the song "Nutte Bounce", from his demo album King of KingZ (2001), frequently uses the term "Nutte" (German for prostitute or "bitch"). When questioned, Bushido explained that he doesn't mean women in general but rather the "real bitches". The song "Berlin" from his debut Vom Bordstein bis zur Skyline (2003) has the following line, which can be interpreted as homophobic:
Berlin wird wieder hart, denn wir verkloppen jede Schwuchtel., (Berlin is going to be hard again, because we beat up every faggot)
In November 2005, Bushido hit the headlines after he made a scornful remark about Paris Hilton in an interview with net.zeitung.de: "She is just a stupid piece of meat... I would like to have her for the sexual act: humiliating and then bye."
On ersguterjunge Sampler Vol. 2 - Vendetta (2006) he made a reference to Natascha Kampusch on the song "Eine Nummer für sich", which has been criticized as "crude". Quoted as following:
Du bist ein krasser Gee auf eurem krassen Campus. Aber ich sperr' dich ein wie Natascha Kampusch., (You are a cool Gee gangster on your cool campus. But I imprison you like Natascha Kampusch.)
In late August 2007, it also caused a lot criticism against Bushido's involvement on the concert Schau nicht weg, a campaign against violence at schools, organized by Bravo and VIVA. The critics argue that Bushido could not count as a role model because of his "homophobic and anti-women lyrics". But since 2006 he was, according to Bravo, very involved in the project, so his live performance could not be canceled. During the performance, Bushido appealed in an aggressive manner to a small group of homosexual protesters by saying: "You fuckers can demonstrate, hang yourself - I don't give a shit". This led to more criticism and controversy.
In June 2009, after participants of the Kreuzberg Pride spotted Bushido on the Berlin U-Bahn Schlesisches Tor, a verbal conflict ensued between the rapper and the participants in which Bushido insulted individuals by referring to their sexual orientation. As result, he and his entourage were splashed with drinks and the organizers of the pride sued him for libel.
Anti-Israel Twitter controversy:
In January 2013, Bushido garnered additional media attention by tweeting "Free Palestine" and using the colors of the Palestinian flag to symbolize a Middle East without Israel. German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that "this illustration does not serve peace, rather it sows hate."
Israel's embassy in Berlin responded to the rapper's actions by tweeting, with irony, directly to his Twitter handle: "@Bushido78 first women, then gays and now Israel: We are proud to belong to the victims of the integration prize winner Bushido."
In 2011, Bushido received a Bambi Award for successful German integration in Germany - despite his reputation for homophobia and misogyny. The Bambi Foundation head Patricia Riekel reacted to his tweet by saying: "We are examining the incident and will react accordingly."
Lawsuits for assault:
More legal trouble ensued following an incident at a party in Linz, Austria on 30 July 2005. Upon discovery that his tires had been slashed, he and two of his bodyguards were involved in a physical altercation with a 19-year-old Austrian man from Linz who was left with severe head injuries. Bushido blames the victim for damaging all tires of his BMW 7 Series. Bushido spent 15 days (3-18 August) in jail before being released on €100,000 bail. He ended up paying €20,000 to the Austrian courts and another €1,000 to the victim himself. It was during this time that it became publicly known that Bushido had been married to another woman for several years, when the judge questioned him on the topic. Bushido later denied the claims of his marriage.
Bushido garnered some press coverage when his record company, Universal Music Group, sued EMI over an alleged copyright violation that derived from similarities between the cover of Deutschland Gib Mir Ein Mic and Music Is My Savior, an album by American rapper Mims.
In 2007, Bushido earned more international press coverage when he was threatened with legal action by the symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir, who claimed that Bushido had sampled two of their songs without permission, "Mourning Palace" and "Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen". Bushido's songs named were "Mittelfingah" and "Engel".
Dimmu Borgir's manager was quoted saying:
Since we were not contacted by Bushido through proper channels and told about his desire to do this, it is clear that Bushido has seriously infringed our intellectual property rights.
No case was brought against him. Two songs from the Liverpool band Antimatter had also been sampled by Bushido without permission, although this dispute was settled later before any legal action was taken. The songs were "Terminal" and "Epitaph" (sampled on "Von der Skyline zum Bordstein zurück" and "Sonnenbank Flavour").
26 September 2008, Bushido was charged with international copyright infringement by the American gothic band Nox Arcana for copying music from three of their songs: "Beyond Midnight" (copied by Bushido on "Weißt Du?"), "No Rest for the Wicked" (copied by Bushido on "Kurt Cobain") and "Cthulhu Rising" (copied by Bushido on "Blaues Licht"). Nox Arcana's songs appear on their albums Darklore Manor (2003) and Necronomicon (2004). Bushido's album Von der Skyline zum Bordstein zurück (2006), which was re-released in 2007 after going Platinum in Germany.
Here a section taken from the official page of Nox Arcana:
The German rapper, Anis Mohamed Ferchichi, who calls himself "Bushido" or "Sonny Black" is looking at international copyright infringement charges. (...) This time, however, Bushido has stolen music from the American Gothic group Nox Arcana, who is taking legal action against the rapper and his label.
Also the French band Dark Sanctuary accused Bushido of taking songs off their material without permission. For his single "Janine" he used the melody of the song "Les Mémoires Blessées". On 23 March 2010, German courts convicted him and ordered him to make reparations and to stop the sales of the affected albums, singles and samplers, including Von der Skyline zum Bordstein zurück. In addition to that, he was ordered to recall and destroy all unsold copies.
A video leaked online by Marzel Becker and Stephan Heller, two German music reviewers. In their video they compared Dark Sanctuary's songs to those of Bushido.
Bushido has also sampled two songs from Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows' album Dead Lovers' Sarabande (Face One) (1999), as was mentioned in a blog by Anna-Varney on her MySpace page. The songs were "Hades "Pluton"" and "Sieh', Mein Geliebter, Hier Hab' Ich Gift" both respectifely used on "Asphalt" and "Drecksstück" from album Vom Bordstein bis zur Skyline (2003).
Alleged organized crime links:
In April 2013, it became publicly known that Bushido signed on 22 December 2010 a general power of attorney to Arafat Abou-Chaker, the leader of the Lebanese criminal clan Abou-Chaker, which allows him to dispose of Bushido's whole estate, including accounts, cars and gains. German magazine stern reports about Bushido's relationship towards to mafia-clan and they also printed the general power of attorney.
The feud that began in 2004 between Bushido and his former label Aggro Berlin is renowned.
The feud ended in 2011.
On 30 March 2012 Kay One's videos, along with their million views, had been removed from Bushido's YouTube channel. Bushido tweeted following this action: "I don't have beef, with anyone". Following that, Kay One reacts via Facebook:
Some people are scared, that I become far too successful. 60 million views like fallen off the face of the earth (...) You can remove the videos, but not me (...) The truth will come out soon. Everyone in Germany will find out what happened (...)
The statement ends with the word "ersguterjunge".
Bushido tweeted hours later: "Kay is not an ersguterjunge for me, my doors are open for him". Kay One's answer via Facebook: "(...) Therefore you banned all my videos, with over 60.000.000 clicks (...)". Also rapper Shindy, who has been recently signed to ersguterjunge, left the label.
On 10 April, Kay One said good-bye to ersguterjunge via Facebook. Five days prior Bushido announced the trademark of the phrase "Kay One" on the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.
In May 2012, Kay One has been attacked after two performances by masked persons armed with knives, but nobody got hurt. Later he blamed Bushido for sending those people, who denied it.
On 9 May 2013, released Shindy a diss track against Kay One, titled "Alkoholisierte Pädophile". On the track, Shindy claims that he co-wrote songs for Kay One's second album Prince of Belvedair and that he didn't get paid. He also accused Kay One and his step-father Oliver Brodowski (also known as Olliwood), who is also the manager, being a pedophile. Kay One banned the track and reacted via Facebook to it, where he stated that the diss track is just for promomting Shindy's then up-coming album NWA and that he will "uncover the truth" about Bushido and Shindy.
In the middle of June 2013, Bushido and Shindy were both guest at German online hip hop portal 16 Bars TV. In the interview with hostess Visa Vie, they talked about the differences with Kay One. Later in July, Bushido refers to Kay One in the song "Stress ohne Grund": "Kay du Bastard bist jetzt vogelfrei. Du wirst in Berlin in deinen Arsch gefickt wie Wowereit." (Translated: "Kay you bastard, you are now outlawed. In Berlin you will get fucked in the ass like Klaus Wowereit.).
On 1 August 2013, released Kay One's diss track "Nichts als die Wahrheit", where he rapped about the past that he spent with Bushido and Shindy. In return to the accusation of being a pedophile, he claimed that Bushido had cheated on his wife with a seventeen-year-old girl. Following that, Bushido reacted with a video, that he uploaded on his YouTube channel, in which he said, that he had expected more of Kay One. "Get ready for it, when I'm going to finish you off. I will take you apart: fillet and slaughter.", threatened Bushido. The dispute escalates when Kay One was invited as guest on the German TV show Stern TV, on 9 October 2013, and confirmed the rumors of Bushido being part of the mafia Abou-Chaker family.
Bushido announced a diss track called "Leben und Tod des Kenneth Glöckner" via social networks, a 10-minute-long track.
Marriage with Anna-Maria Lagerblom:
Bushido lives in Kleinmachnow and has been married since May 2012 to Anna-Maria Lagerblom, sister of Sarah Connor and ex-wife of Pekka Lagerblom. They had been engaged since early 2011. It is Lagerblom's third marriage.