France: Rap lyrics targeted

22 February 2013

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”.

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.

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.

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.”

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’ that was part of the soundtrack for the film La Haine. And in 2002, Nicholas Sarkozy started a process against the group La Rumeur, a process that would last 8 years and resulting in the rap group winning the case.



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


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