chapter  5
Rapping at the Margins
Musical Constructions of Identities in Contemporary France
ByBrian George
Pages 22

This chapter looks at how genuinely subversive a medium rap can be construed to be, and hope to illustrate some of its linguistic features. It considers the work of two bands using the Occitan language in their work will involve a discussion of raps eclecticism, its postmodern mix of the old and the new. The young banlieusards have been condemned, feared, mistrusted, the victims of racist attacks and murders, and have been the subject of journalistic sensationalism. These events have taken place in the context of a deep crisis in French identity. One of the most uncompromising of all rap groups is NTM. The banlieues, usually portrayed as bleak, unattractive, terrifying spaces, in both the physical and the symbolic sense, are reclaimed and have a certain value conferred on them by rappers. In the case of the Fabulous Trobadors and Massilia Sound System, despite the latters apparent insistence on their role as mere entertainers.