French Rap’s Cred Takes Hit

Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s newly elected conservative, has some dark secrets…darker than anyone on the political stage would ever embrace. His son Mosey is a hip-hop producer. France has a storied filial relationship with hip hop music. Like American teenagers, French kids were always apt to admire the style of hip hop artists and the verbal wizardry within the music. Moreover, the tension between North African emigres living in the depressed urban centers of France and the government’s xenophobic, anti-immigrant sentiments. Sarkozy represents the latter. He has been famously racist, conservative, chauvinist about defending his perceived ideas of French nationalism. And even though hip-hop is part of the national fabric, Sarkozy would prefer to ignore it. Too late for that, it seems.

Poison is a group from France’s banlieues (ghetto) whose anti-Sarko raps blare loudly across those locales. Mosey penned a song for Poison during Sarkozy’s election run which decries his bias, and extols youth to reject him at all costs. Talk about close to home.

And in case you weren’t sure about the power of hip-hop’s influence on French 20-somethings, peep Tony Parker’s YouTube rap video. TP is a recognized rap star near the level of his basketball fame. Not to get all profound about it, but there’s some meaty cultural implications there.

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