Journal of World Popular Music, Vol 2, No 2 (2015)

Exposing the Politics of French Rap on Prime-Time Television: De L’encre by Hamé and Ekoué

Olivier Bourderionnet
Issued Date: 5 Nov 2015

Abstract


This article addresses questions of political consciousness and authenticity in today’s French rap industry in the light of the discussion proposed in De l’encre, a fiction film made for prime-time television by rappers Hamé and Ekoué from the group La Rumeur. The study puts in the balance the limitations of political engagement and political discourse as artistic material with marketing demands and industry practices. In discussing the ways some rappers position themselves vis-à-vis the industry’s demands while claiming to remain true to their perception of an uncorrupted form of hip hop, the article highlights the terms in which notions of authenticity, selfauthentication and ideology come into play in the French context. Focusing on the rap group La Rumeur’s stance on cooptation in French and American rap, the limitations are exposed of an ideological discourse that proceeds to excommunicate other artists in the name of authenticity and tends to reproduce the very same conservative rhetoric of exclusion found at the other end of the political spectrum in France.

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DOI: 10.1558/jwpm.v2i2.24720

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