The song at the heart of the outrage is called Pendez les Blancs in French ('Hang the Whites').
The video by Nick Conrad — which controversial black comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala , a convicted anti-Semite, linked to on his Facebook page on
Saturday — was viewed thousands of times on YouTube before being taken down on Wednesday.
In it he raps: “I go to nurseries and kill white babies. Catch them quickly and hang their parents, tear them up to entertain black kids of all ages big and small. Whip them hard, frankly, it stinks of death as blood is gushing.”
On top of the aggressive lyrics, the video shows a white character being tortured by the rapper and a sidekick in reference which according to reports is a reference to the film American History X in which a black character is subjected to the same treatment.
France's Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb took to Twitter on Wednesday to denounce the song (see below) after an initial outcry from politicians on the right of France's political spectrum.
“I condemn unreservedly these abject remarks and ignominious attacks,” he wrote. “My team is working towards the immediate withdrawal of the content. It will be up to the judicial authority to give the appropriate follow-up to these hateful appeals to hatred.”
In an interview with RTL Bruno Retailleau who represents the right wing Les Republicains party called the song a “call to murder”.
“It's intolerable. There are things we should not do because it is an incitement to racial hatred, it is a provocation to crime,” he said.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux also condemed the “hateful, nauseating lyrics in the strongest possible terms” as did the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism – or Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme (Licra) in French.
“The call for the racist killing in Nick Conrad's video is abject and incredibly violent,” the organisation said. “The freedom of creation does not mean the freedom to call for the hanging of white people because of the color of their skin.”
The Paris prosecutors office opened an inquiry, with the rapper likely to face charges of incitement to hatred under France's strict hate speech laws.
Until becoming the subject of nation-wide media coverage on Wednesday, Nick Conrad was a virtual unknown, with only 40 monthly listeners on the music
streaming platform Spotify.
The nine-minute video, which was uploaded onto YouTube on September 17, presents the action as taking place in the eastern Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand.
It contains references to a speech by US black nationalist Malcolm X.
On his Twitter account Conrad, who is of Cameroonian origin and has in interviews claimed to be influenced by American hip-hop, had presented it as his “first short film”.