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France frets about the right to rap


Should rappers be able to sing whatever they like in the name of art and should politicians be able to stop them taking to the stage? The question of censorship has jumped back to the fore in France with President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government, in a rather unlikely about-turn, jumping to the defence of a foul-mouthed rapper, while a leading Socialist has tried to muzzle him.

The rapper — pictured in the video above — is called Orelsan, a white, middle-class singer sometimes referred to as “France’s Eminem”, who shot to prominence earlier this year when a video of one of his songs became an Internet hit. Here is a taste of the lyrics (with the worst of the sexual imagery¬†omitted!)

“I hate you, I want you to die slowly, I want you to get pregnant and lose your child … you are just a pig who should go straight to the slaughter house … I am going to get you pregnant and then abort you with a shepherd’s knife.”

The song is old and no longer appears in Orelsan’s stage show, but the controversy lingers.