Stylisations phocéennes : Soprano et Marseille

Stéphane Chaudier


Marseilles is the hometown of the French rap star Soprano and it plays a key role in his records: Puisqu’il faut vivre (2007), Cosmopolitanie (2014), L’Éverest/ (2016). This study deals with the intriguing process of the stylization of Marseilles in the music of Soprano. The realistic aspects of the representation of Marseilles are not to be neglected but are probably not the most important point of Soprano’s creative work. Claiming and boasting his urban origins contribute to shape the ethos of a genuine rapper belonging to a multi-ethnic and deprived city, known for being home to many African immigrants. Marseilles gives its flesh and identity to an artist willing to create various links through his work: with his family, his mates, all of them being an image of his public. Soprano coined the expression Cosmopolitanie, a portmanteau word mixing the words cosmopolitan and litany, which refer both to religious music, faith, hope and complaint. Marseilles is thus lyrically recreated.



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