A French court agreed yesterday to consider a complaint brought by a conservative MP against the rapper Monsieur R for referring to France as a slut in a song.
The court in Melun, south of Paris, said it would rule early next year on the complaint filed by Daniel Mach, MP for the Pyrйnйes Orientales, who said he had the backing of 150 MPs but was bringing the action "on my own personal account, because I feel assaulted by these insults. They are a real attack on the dignity of France and of the state."
The MP, the latest in a long line of people to object to French rap lyrics since the early 1990s, added: "I want to grab society's attention, to show it that everything could just explode when an audience that is already fragile listens to such songs." Mr Mach alleged that on the song FranSSe, from Monsieur R's latest album Politikment Incorrekt, Monsieur R - whose real name is Richard Makela - raps: "France is a bitch, don't forget to fuck her till she's exhausted/You have to treat her like a slut, man." At another point, Mr Makela says: "I piss on Napoleon and on General de Gaulle."
If convicted, the rapper faces up to three years in prison and a fine of Ј51,000. "As soon as a rapper expresses himself, bizarrely, everyone launches into him," he told the France Soir newspaper yesterday. "There are plenty of songs that are part of this country's artistic heritage and every bit as virulently anti-France, and nobody complains."
Mr Mach said yesterday he had filed his complaint months before the outbreak of unrest in France's suburbs.
Figures showed 422 of those detained during the violence had been convicted and given custodial sentencesm, The Guardian reports.