Leah Papineau Robichaud
Since the death of George Floyd, the black squares are multiplied on social networks as well as the taken position like a mea culpa, accompanied by the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The middle of the rap in Quebec has been at the heart of the movement.
Imposs is a veteran of the québécois rap, and one of the members of the group Muzion. The musician and his cohorts have shaped the popular culture here with The vi ti nèg in 1999, without, however, benefit from the same opportunities as others.
“No one has ever had the support of the radios, but people have heard the song anyway. It was super organic, but it happened the same. The chorus may be in creole, it was clear that it spoke for all the world, that it was in an exchange, in a share.”
In the eyes of the rapper Sarahmée, the case of the commercial radio remains the example of the most blatant systemic racism in Quebec.
“La vi ti nèg, according to me, has the makings of the great classic songs that we sing each year at the national festival. It is a hymn.”
“Muzion had the same problem and, 25 years later, it has not changed! […] I have colleagues who do break not even the head to pay radio tracking because they say that they will not play anyway.”
Imposs, nevertheless, believes that the movement #BlackoutTuesday and the day of reflection that ensued are already beginning to bear fruit.
“In the immediate future and since the Blackout Tuesday happened, personally, I feel like a kind of change in people in general.”
“A few days after the Blackout Tuesday, I released the first single [Daisy] of my next album, and the people receive the song as an emblem, if you want, of what they want to represent them and yell louder.”
The rapper Oj Dolo has also released a song that resounds loudly given the social climate surrounding the rise of the movement #BlackLivesMatter in Montreal. Created with his sidekick Syla, Blvck is a piece of music with a message, punch in “support to all [people] black, [which were] lost with brutality”.
The ex-hockey player born Jonathan Ismael Diaby also felt it would be hasty to close the folder. The recent events have come to wake up old memories for the athlete once a victim of racial discrimination on the ice.
“It is sure that it is less worse than before. There is more slavery, but there is still a lot of racism in the society, whether in sport, in everyday life or in the culture.”
The allies are mobilizing
Several white musicians, such as Koriass and the members of the Temple, went there of their messages of solidarity.
Shaken by the situation, Loud reacted on Facebook. “As a rapper, the value of what the black culture has brought to my life is invaluable: my passion, my lifestyle, my childhood hero and today, my mentor and eventually my career and my livelihood.”
“If you consume my music, come to see my shows, participate in the growth of my career and that you are indifferent to the situation, I fucked up,” adds the rapper.
For its part, FouKi felt deeply touched by the death of George Floyd. “I lived with a Haitian my teenage years, I shared his life and his culture with my dear mother worshipped her, and just imagine that we can do harm and lack of respect for free to my father-in-law, or whatever, for his skin color, it puts me outside of myself,” he said in a posting on Facebook.
– With the collaboration of Alex Proteau, 24-HOUR