While the Interior Ministry has taken legal action over the rapper's "Sweet Country" clip, Michel Guerrin, editor-in-chief at "The World", returns in his column to the fact that no other art than rap ends up so much in the courts.
Tout goes very fast for the young french rapper Nick Conrad. Unknown a few months ago, he's been in the light for a few weeks, but not really for his aesthetics. For the words he sings. He has to face justice twice in a year, which is a record in culture – it's not over. His story is exemplary of the complex relationship between rap and law. Rap and society too.
In September 2018, the 35-year-old man, of Cameroonian origin, settled in Noisy-le-Grand, Seine-Saint-Denis, and released a video entitled Hang the whites, in which he proclaims: "I kill white babies / Catch them quickly and hang their parents. " He is seen thrusting a revolver into a white man's mouth, shooting him, and crushing his head on a sidewalk. Then hang him. Result: clip removed on YouTube, then sentenced, March 19, to 5,000 euros suspended fine for provocation to the crime.
Nick Conrad returned the cover two months later, May 17, with the clip Sweet Country, in which he says: " I fucked France, burned France / Sweet country of my childhood … ", in a song that refers to the Sweet France of "The other con of Charles Trenet". Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner is indignant, others too. The Paris prosecutor's office announces, on May 20, the opening of a preliminary inquiry.
We can not dismiss the idea that Nick Conrad is digging his way through the scandal to make a place for himself in the sun of rap – a good part of the sector thinks so. Nick Conrad has been singing for twenty years, but remains confidential. He does not live rap. It was only after his first clip that he was the subject of press articles and comments on the Web.
In twenty-five years, we have listed a good fifteen trials around rappers lyrics
For now, he has lost more than won. What he lost is his job as a receptionist in a palace, teaches us Release, in a long portrait published on April 5th. He also had to pay 1,000 euros to associations and was threatened with death. Probably to avoid the case justice a second time, which is badly engaged, he framed his second clip, Sweet country, a firewall: a warning, at first, to say that the film has words and images that can hurt, another, at the end, to say that it does not attack the French, but to "The French mentality" and the media. The images are, by the way, much softer than those of the first clip.