A neo-Nazi rapper who remade songs into white-power novelty tunes has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Austrian media is reporting that Philip H., better known by his alias Mr. Bond, received the sentence for promoting neo-Nazism and inciting violence. Bond’s full name was not released by Austrian authorities. VICE World News reached out to Vienna’s General Prosecutor's office for confirmation but did not hear back.
A significant portion of the 37-year-old’s charging documents, also released by his supporters, is focused on the rapper's lyrics. It also says Philip H. translated the manifesto released by the man who killed 50 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand in 2019 to German and he was caught with Nazi propaganda such as books, T-shirts, and flags. Austria, like Germany, has staunch laws prohibiting the distribution and creation of Nazi propaganda and Philip H. was facing 20 years in prison.
“Mr. Bond” has released dozens of white power songs and five mixtapes since coming onto the scene in 2016. Notoriously, his music—a Nazi cover of Future’s “Mask Off”—soundtracked neo-Nazi Stephan Balliet’s live streamed attack of a synagogue in Halle in October 2019. Balliet was unable to gain entrance to the place of worship but killed two people outside.
When Philip H. was first arrested, a researcher described him to VICE World News as “a far-right Weird Al Yankovic.” Mr. Bond is known for taking popular songs and turning them into neo-Nazi fodder for his audience. While his focus was on rap songs, Philip H. also would remake rock and pop songs like Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” and Scorpions’ “Winds of Change.”
Philip H. was popular enough to somewhat make a living with his far-right music. A recent investigation by German outlet Tagesschau reported that he had tens of thousands of euros in a crypto wallet from supporters' donations. In several of the neo-Nazi chat rooms VICE World News has had access to in the past, Mr. Bond became the topic of conversations several times. His name also pops up frequently in the far-right message boards that have been archived and publicly released by the journalist collective Unicorn Riot.
Music has long been a key recruitment and radicalization tool used by the extreme right. According to Dr. Ariel Koch, a senior fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right and the Director of Research (Violent Extremism) at ActiveFence, Mr. Bond is a lot more than just a novelty act. Koch, who has written about Mr. Bond’s impact, said he’s a primary figure in a new and growing wave of white power music.
“It’s important to understand that is that he is a rock star in the white supremacist movement, he's replacing (popular skinhead act) Skrewdriver and other prominent white power bands,” said Koch. "We can see in the past that white power rap was a joke or something that no one that was a serious or devout national socialist would consider to use."
“So nowadays it's more popular than ever and there are many, many white power rappers from all around the world.”
This new music scene reflects the irony-centric humour and meme-focused nature of the new extreme-right. It’s what has allowed Mr. Bond to rip off hip-hop songs and steal melodies and beats from people of colour without caring about the obvious disconnect.
“This is the cynical humor of of the 21st century white supremacist movement,” said Koch.
While steeped in the desensitizing humour of the movement, Philip H.’s music was also explicit in both its embrace of racism and violence. He’s released songs endorsing neo-Nazis who have committed violence for the cause. Multiple researchers have said he had a specific obsession with the man who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch. One researcher previously told VICE Mr. Bond was excited when Balliet soundtracked his rampage to his music but eventually became disappointed by Balliet’s failure to gain entrance to the synagogue and kill Jews, however.
Since he was arrested, Philip H. has been supported by his neo-Nazi followers who have attempted to advocate for this release. A website has been built on his behalf, which gives supporters the ability to write to him, and the Nordic Resistance Movement—a Scandinavian neo-Nazi group—has released several podcasts in support of him. The New England-based neo-Nazi group NSC-131 posted a photo of several of their members in front of a wall scrawled with “Free Mr. Bond,” after his sentencing was reached last year.
In a recent podcast, neo-Nazi broadcasters and rappers lamented his sentencing.
“He probably didn’t imagine 10 years but he knew it was illegal, but he knew it was very spicy,” said one of the hosts to a Mr. Bond superfan who is attempting to help the rapper.
“He didn’t count on that guy doing that shooting either,” the fan replied.
With files from Tim Hume.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.