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
After the weeks of riots that engulfed depressed suburbs around Paris, starting on 27 October 2005 after an accident where two teenagers died in Clichy-sous-Bois, lawmaker and member of parliament Francois Grosdidier plans to file a request that local chart-toppers 113, Ministere AMER and five other rappers face legal sanctions. Grosdidier claims to have the support of 200 colleagues in parliament.
Francois Grosdidier belongs to president Jacques Chirac’s ruling UMP party, and started a drive against hate lyrics already earlier this year. In August 2005, a Paris prosecutor, acting on a complaint from Francois Grosdidier, ordered a probe into the song “FranSSe,” in which rapper Monsieur R expresses contempt for France and historic figures like Napoleon and General Charles de Gaulle.
The response from French prime minister Dominique de Villepin has been that rap songs were not to blame for the rioting in poor suburbs. In a radio interview, he said:
The sudden outpouring of violence came as a shock to the French, but many rappers in the country say that if only their lyrics had been listened to, the suburban violence might never have occurred.
The debate continues in French newspapers such as Liberation and Le Monde.
AP / News24.com – 25 November 2005:
‘PM: Don’t blame rap for riots’
BBC News – 16 November 2005:
‘French rappers’ prophecies come true’
Rap music resources