French rapper Nick Conrad could face up to five years in prison for controversial rap lyrics calling for white people to be hanged, the New York Times reports. 

Inspired in part by a scene from the mid-1990s film American History X, Conrad's video for his single "Pendez Les Blancs" ("Hang The Whites" in English) calls for the killing of white babies and the hanging of their parents. The imagery in the video is reminiscent of a scene of Neo-Nazis in the film torturing a black man by making him bite the pavement and kicking him in the head.

“I go into the nurseries, I kill the white babies, catch them quick and hang their parents, pull them apart to pass the time, amuse the black children off all ages, little and big,” the artist raps in the song according to EuroNews.

YouTube removed the video posted September 17 on Wednesday on the grounds the video violated its terms and was a form of hate speech. Graphic images of hanging, kidnapping and gun violence were featured in the video.

The BBC reports a French anti-racism group called LICRA (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism) is planning to take legal action against the artist for his incendiary lyrics. "The incitement to murder in Nick Conrad's video is despicable and unbelievably violent," the statement read.

“Words like this are totally unacceptable,” Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said once he was made aware of the video. “Rappers have young listeners and so, little by little, it marks them. And that’s how you wound up with the worst perversions in our society.”

While French law protects freedom of speech, that freedom has some limitations not found in U.S. law, according to the Times. An investigation has been launched, and if convicted, Conrad could face up to five years behind bars and a $52,000 fine.

Despite the backlash, Conrad insists the video is a comment on the racial injustices faced by black people, and he only wanted to show France's white majority what it is like to live as a black citizen. 

“It’s a mirror, a response to the injustices inflicted on my community since slavery,” the rapper told Le Parisien. “I was inspired by my personal experience and what I observe every day, as an artist. My feeling is that the black man always has to make more of an effort to integrate himself and fit into the mold.”

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