Anti-police rap video paid for with state funds
NANTES, France, Sept 3, 2006 (AFP) - Two French rappers from the western city of Nantes are facing possible legal action after they used a local council grant to make a video accused of glorifying violence against the police.
Downloadable over the Internet, ‘Colt 44’ by rappers Tipikal and K-Pster contains images of guns and drugs as well as scenes filmed during a clash earlier this year between police and youths in a poor suburb of the city.
The lyrics include the words, “Fill the police HQ with mustard gas, do it Russian-style”, as well as other threats.
The Socialist Party (PS) mayor of Nantes Jean-Marc Ayrault admitted Friday that the rappers had received a subsidy of EUR 700 euros to make a video “on the malaise in the suburbs” following last year’s riots, but he said the city hall later withdrew its support from the project.
The police union Alliance said the video was “an incitement to urban warfare, to hatred of the police, to terrorism and rape”.
The city’s prefect, or state-appointed governor, has contacted judicial authorities to see if legal action can be brought against the two men, his office said.
Eric Raoult, secretary of the ruling Union for Popular Movement (UMP) party, said it was “shocking … that public money went directly towards financing an exercise in subversion whose sole aim was to incite violence against representatives of the state”.
French courts have until now shown reluctance to prosecute rappers accused of inciting violence in their lyrics.
In June a court in Melun, south of Paris, rejected a suit brought by a UMP deputy against rapper Monseur R. who in a song called FranSSe used sexually explicit language to describe France as a “whore”.
Proceedings against rappers La Rumeur and Sniper have also been dropped.
Defending his “Colt 44” video, K-Pster said, “It is true there are violent words, but if you listen properly you can see it’s just metaphor.”
Subject: French news