Contemporary French Civilization

Kamini's rural rap: a study of minority identities, new media, and music

Contemporary French Civilization (2011), 36, (1-2), 127–140.

Abstract

This article analyses the success of Kamini's single Marly-Gomont in 2006, and especially the role of web sites such as YouTube in his rise to fame. His rapid rise to fame occurred largely thanks to a video of him rapping about being from the only black family in rural Picardie appearing on the web. This article argues that new media technology created a new space in which Kamini challenged clichés about race, rurality and rap music. It compares Kamini's evocation of racial issues within the song and his downplaying of this theme in media interviews. It will conclude by analysing how his success can be in part explained by the socio-cultural climate in France at the time and argue that it also challenges conventions in the record industry regarding the production and distribution pop videos.

Cet article analyse la réussite du tube de Kamini Marly-Gomont en 2006, et surtout l'importance du rôle joué par des sites-web tels que YouTube. Cet artiste est devenu célèbre notamment grâce à la mise en ligne d'un clip rap où il évoque le fait qu'il vienne de la seule famille noire d'un village picard. L' article affirme que les nouveaux médias ont créé un espace nouveau où Kamini a pu s'attaquer à des visions stéréotypées de la race, la ruralité et la musique rap. Il compare l'évocation de questions raciales dans sa chanson et pendant ses interviews avec des journalistes. Il terminera en soutenant que sa réussite s'explique en partie par le contexte socioculturel français de l'époque et de plus qu'elle remet en question des pratiques habituelles dans l'industrie du disque par rapport à la production et la distribution des clips.

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Ervine, Jonathan