French rappers accused of inciting recent riots

24th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 23 (AFP) - Seven French rap outfits could face legal action following a complaint lodged by some 200 lawmakers on Wednesday, accusing them of helping to provoke the country's recent riots through their song lyrics.

PARIS, Nov 23 (AFP) - Seven French rap outfits could face legal action following a complaint lodged by some 200 lawmakers on Wednesday, accusing them of helping to provoke the country's recent riots through their song lyrics.

"Sexism, racism and anti-Semitism are no more acceptable in song lyrics than in written or spoken words," the deputy behind the initiative, François Grosdidier of the ruling centre-right UMP, told AFP.

"This is one of the factors that led to the violence in the suburbs," he said, arguing that rap music "conditions" listeners into a violent frame of mind that can spur them on to action.

In a petition co-signed by 152 deputies and 49 senators, the deputy drew the attention of justice minister Pascal Clement to seven rap singers and bands whom he accuses of inciting racism and hatred.

The complaint singled out the song 'FranSSe' by the rap artist Monsieur R, whose lyrics describe France as a "bitch" to be "screwed until she drops".

Its author, Monsieur R, whose real name is Richard Makela, is already facing a separate court case for "outrage to social decency" over the song, brought by another ruling-party deputy.

The complaint also targets the singers Smala, Fabe and Salif and the rap groups Lunatic, 113, and Ministère Amer.

French rap artists have been using hip hop music as a medium to protest about conditions in France's tough suburbs since the early 1980s.

References to police harassment, drugs, inequality, violence and "a day of reckoning" for the injustices of life all litter their songs.

Following the weeks of violence that broke out in poor, high-immigration French suburbs in late October and early November, their lyrics warning of violence and railing against discrimination have appeared eerily prescient.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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