In a so called land of freedom where people are supposed to have equal rights, rap music is more than censored by an incomprehensive government. French rappers such as NTM:
And Sniper had to face lawsuits because they expressed their opposition towards the police and the French government in particular.
People in France are very lucky that a facist and racist such as Jean Marie Le Pen hasnt been elected. Le Pen intended to forbid completely rap music and metal, because he thinks « rap and metal cant be called music. »
This man endangers our fundamental rights and if hed ever got elected, Id leave France immediatly. But still, Chiracs government isnt very tolerant and seems to have something in common with President Bush : they both dont seem to concentrate on real threats.
NTM is one of the most controversial rap group in France :
They have the courage of their opinions and they often target the police. In 1995, on July the 14th, « SOS Racisme » organized a concert where NTM was present. This concert raised some scandal. Kool Shen and Joey Starr pointed their fingers on the policemen while singing :
« I fuck the police up in the ass and on justice I pee.
The cops are the real facists. Those are the ones who assasinate people. »
On November the 14 th 1996, both have to face 3 months jail charges with a total interdiction to sing on the French territory for six months.
But those sanctions didnt stop them at all from speaking their minds : on June the 14 th 1997, at the Rock Festival that took place in Paris, NTM flipped the bird in front of the whole crowd : « Fuck the FN, fuck Jean Marie, fuck the police. »
It is also reported that NTM were sentenced to two months of probation and condamned to pay
50 000 francs.
France is a mainly conservative country that is surrounded by closed minded people. Ghetto people are often stereotyped as dumb and violent. A French middle class sociologist dared saying on TV that ghetto people were unable to adapt to other people and presented them as inferior. In fact, ghetto people have to struggle harder than other people. It is also well known that applying to a job is easier in France when your first name is Mary than if it is Ahmed.
The middle classes are often totally ignorant of what ghetto people are going through and they are very fast in judging them badly. They dont understand why they get so easily involved in drug deals. The answer is easy, though : many ghetto people in France are not given the chance to find a regular job easily and peddling drugs is a easy and fast way to get much money in a short time. Thats why many people get involved in illegal business. People from the middle classes hardly accept rap as a part of popular culture into the hexagone and in private schools rap is totally despised as a musical genre.
Another rap group, Sniper, has been targetted as anti semitic because they talked about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. In my opinion, their views are impartial and they keep talking about the injustice of the conflict. They have also criticized the French governments policy and spoken about their hypocritical democracy. The police gets insulted and everybodys so shocked. But nobody seems to be shocked by the polices burs and scandals such as the death of Malik Oussekine, a French /Algerian student who was killed by the police in 1986 :
(editorial reviews-part dedicated to the death of Malik Oussekine.)
You can learn more about Sniper in this article from The Guardian
In fact, the French right political party is composed of narrow minded people who also give a bad image abroad. They privilege rich people and totally ignore problems the poor working classes are confronted to. Thats why violence is sometimes their only way to be listened to. Thats what Sniper is trying to say.
Are we living in a democracy of hypocrisy ? I bet you already know the answer.