France: Mayor cancels WWI centenary concert over rapper’s “anti-France” lyrics

black m
Verdun city mayor Samuel Hazard cancelled French rapper Black M’s concert commemorating the 100-year anniversary of WWI’s Battle of Verdun due to protests fuelled by far-right website’s post on the rapper’s “anti-France” and homophobic lyrics, reported French radio station RFI on 14 May 2016.

The site, along with National Front party members, in particular referenced the song ‘Désolé’ by his group Sexion d’Assaut that refers to France being a country of “non-believers”, reported Salon on 13 May 2016.

After pressure from protests, including a legal case filed against the concert by the grandson of a WWI soldier, city mayor Hazard caved and cancelled the show on 13 May 2016 due to the concert being a “danger to public order”.

In a 13 May 2016 statement on his Facebook account, Black M said he felt “saddened” by the situation and had “immense pride” to have been chosen to take part in the ceremony, calling France the country that educated him and allowed him to live his passion.

Mémoires et Partages (Memory and Sharing), a Franco-Senegalese NGO, has appealed to the government to reverse the cancellation, reported RFI on 16 May 2016.

The commemoration is scheduled to take place 29 May 2016 and will be attended by both French and German heads of state.

Photo from Black M’s Facebook page


» RFI – 16 May 2016:
Calls to reverse ban on rapper Black M at World War I commemoration

» RFI – 14 May 2016:
French rapper Black M banned from World War I centenary ceremony

» Salon – 13 May 2016:
French WWI concert scrapped after far-right fuss over rapper

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