France: Rap lyrics targeted


NEWS

25 February 2013


France:
Rap lyrics targeted


The French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls wants to fight “aggressive” rap lyrics attacking the state, insulting the flag and women. This is the conclusion after a member of the senate had chosen to question him on the subject of what she called “absolutely unprecedented violence against France”.

Manuel Valls first responded that “rap music is a part of our urban culture” and that he had no wish to jeopardize neither the freedom of expression, nor the creativity. However, he confirmed that he agreed with the senator Nathalie Goulet, and would do anything in his power to fight against aggressive lyrics targeting the civil as well as military authorities or insulting the police and the symbols of France. He also added that it is equally important to pay attention to lyrics degrading women.

Calls for violence and hatred
According to Numerama and Le Huffington Post, the rap groups that were mentioned in regard to having this kind of aggressive lyrics were: 113, Sniper, Salif, Ministère Amer, Amala and Lunatic. Nathalie Goulet said: “I estimate that their lyrics calls for violence and hatred against the police authorities.”

Previous cases
It is not the first time that the Minister of the Interior targets rap music in France. The first case took place in 1995 the rap group Ministère Amer was sentenced to a 250 000 francs fine for their song ‘Sacrifice du poulet’. And in 2002, Nicholas Sarkozy started a process against the group La Rumeur, a process that would last 8 years and resulted in the rap group winning the case.



Ministere Amer is one of the rap groups targeted by the French Minister of the Interior. They were controversial already in 1995 when they were sentenced to a 250 000 francs fine.


Sources

Numerama – 21 February 2013:

‘Manuel Valls veut s’attaquer au rap agressif sur Internet’

Le Huffington post – 21 February 2013:

‘Le rap dans le viseur de Manuel Valls… comme dans celui de bien des hommes politiques’


Go to top
Related reading on freemuse.org


France: Rap lyrics targeted
The French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls wants to fight “aggressive” rap lyrics attacking the state, insulting the flag and women.
25 February 2013
France: Threats, campaigns and media rage against heavy metal festival
The ecclectic metal festival Hellfest in France received threats from religious groups. The media attention which followed doubled the festival’s ticket sales
09 June 2010
France: Censorship row over festival’s ban on rapper
When the rapper Orelsan was taken off the poster of a major French music festival in the last minute, he became centre of a national debate over censorship
20 July 2009
France: Rap musician acquitted of ‘defamation’ charges
On 23 September 2008, rap musician Hamé of leading French underground rap groups, La Rumeur, was acquitted after a long, legal battle against president Nicolas Sarkozy
25 September 2008
France: Rap musician under legal fire for ‘defamation’
For the last six years one of France’s leading underground rap groups, La Rumeur, has been locked in a legal battle against current French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
26 June 2008
France: Petition to remove ban on Roma music at religious festival
An online petition seeks to have a ban lifted on playing music in the streets during the Roma people’s annual pilgrimage in Saintes Maries de la Mer
03 June 2008
France: Musician attacked by airport police
On 9 September 2006 four police officers threw Russian-American trumpet player Valery Ponomarev to the floor, kicking and punching him, twisted his arm back and broke it
23 October 2006
France: New onslaught against French rappers
The French government has reacted to the rioting in France’s poorest neighbourhoods by measures that include a clampdown on French rappers.
12 December 2005
France: Rappers blamed for stoking violence
A conservative lawmaker in France has asked the French government to take legal action against music groups he blames for stoking the riots that engulfed depressed suburbs
02 December 2005
France: Jamaican reggae star’s concerts cancelled
Six French music venues have axed scheduled performances of Jamaican reggae singer Capleton because of his lyrics against homosexuality
09 June 2005
La musique – un Droit de l’Homme
08 March 2005
Les droits des musiciens, des compositeurs et des auteurs
08 March 2005
La Rumeur: accused of inciting violence
The French group from the Paris outskirts helped to redefine the hip hop scene in France…. but faced crippling legal court cases as a consequence
11 October 2004
Shoot the Singer! Book
‘Shoot the Singer! Music Censorship Today’ is the first worldwide presentation of contemporary cases of music censorship
25 May 2004
French minister warns ‘hate’ rap bands over lyrics
The band Sniper has outraged deputies in the governing UMP party with “La France,” a foul-mouthed anti-society rant that taps the deep sense of alienation of disaffected French youths
05 November 2003
Communiqué de presse: Rapport sur la musique et la censure au Nigeria
30 April 2003