French hip hop

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French hip hop is the hip hop music style which was developed in France, and is considered as the first mondial hip hop scene. Many of the French hip hop artists come from the poor urban areas on the outskirts of large cities known as banlieues ("suburbs"). Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Nantes, Lille, Strasbourg, Caen, Le Havre, Rouen, Toulouse, Grenoble and Nice have produced various French hip hop artists. The political and social status of the minority groups living in France have a direct influence on French hip hop.[1] Many French rappers are products of the HLM rent-controlled housing and draw upon their upbringing in this environment as a source of inspiration for their lyrics. France is the world's second hip-hop producing country after the US.

Contents

History

The protest at the heart of French hip-hop can be traced directly to the economic boom following World War II. France required manpower to sustain its newly booming industries and the governmental solution was the mass immigration of peoples from regions of past French colonial occupation to fill the gaps caused by shortage in personnel. As early as 1945, l'Office national d'immigration (ONI) was formed to supervise the immigration of new workers. Newly arrived Africans were not given the same employment opportunities as their Caribbean counterparts because they were not citizens and often Africans ended up working as civil servants and menial employees living in dilapidated housing projects. Much of the resistance to social and economic imbalances in French hip-hop relate to this historically unequal situation. This is proved by lyrics of Aktivist's song, "Ils ont", The extract when translated states "Aktivist denounces intolerance to all immigrant fathers/Exploited in France since the 50s-60s/...their bodies are falling apart/And their children are still being judged according to their origins."[2]

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