Various rappers and rap
groups in France are facing legal action after being accused by lawmakers of
inciting the country’s riots through their raps.
200 lawmakers signed
a petition on Wednesday (Nov. 23) that was co-signed by 152 Deputies and 49
Senators and presented to Justice Minister Pascal Clement, singling out seven
The rap groups
could face legal action and are specifically accused of inciting racism and
hatred. The petitions sponsor, Francois Grosdidier, claims rap music conditions
listeners who could become violent in the future.
"Sexism, racism and
anti-Semitism are no more acceptable in song lyrics than in written or spoken
words," Grosdidier of the ruling centre-right UMP, told AFP. "This
is one of the factors that led to the violence in the suburbs."
Monsieur R’s song
“FranSSe” drew controversy earlier this year in the country and
the complaint singled out the song again, which describes France as “b*tch
who should "treated like a whore".
Monsieur R is already facing
a court date over the song and is charged with "outrage to social decency.”
Other groups targeted in
the petition include Smala, Fabe & Salif, Lunatic, Ministere and Ministere
In 1995 French officials
attacked rap group Ministere Amer in court over their song “Sacrifice
de poulet,” from the soundtrack to “La Haine,” a movie that
ironically centers on the lives of three teenagers living in the slums after
a riot has broken out.
A court ruling forced the
group to pay 250,000 francs in fines, but lawmakers were unsuccessful at banning
the CD from stores.
Rappers have expressed their
dismay with the conditions in France since the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The recent riots in France
were set off by the Oct. 27 accidental deaths of two teenagers in Clichy-Sous-Bois.
Zyed Benna, 17, and Traore
Bouna, 15, fled a soccer game and hid in a power substation when they saw police
enter the area and were accidentally electrocuted.
Youths in the neighborhood
accused the police of chasing the teens to their deaths.
The riots were initially
confined around Paris, but then spread to other regions of the Île-de-France
region and throughout France, affecting fifteen of the large urban centers in