Des Black Panthers à l’Arabian Panther : quand Médine en appelle aux leaders du passé pour mener son combat. Une étude de « Self Defense »

Catherine Gendron


In the 2000s, as French society was experiencing a rise in postcolonial demands, politicised French rappers focused their writing on themes such as the history of relationships between  Europe and Africa, slavery, colonisation, and the history of immigration. Médine, who is one of these rappers, is committed to defending the cause of victims of exclusion. His keen interest in history makes him think that we have much to learn from the past so as not to repeat the same mistakes in the present. He has made it his duty to keep alive our collective memory and warn us against some official truncated versions of history. His rap “Self Defense”, from the album Arabian Panther (2008), features historical leaders who fought against various forms of oppression and defended their people’s rights.
Throughout this rap, Médine establishes a close link between these leaders’ fights and his own, bringing their people together in a kind of symbolic ‘community of the oppressed’. Mixing provocation and political demands all along his rap, he draws our attention to his call for the duty of remembrance, which he finally legitimises by quoting the Taubira law promoting the recognition of the slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity and asking for the inclusion of these historical facts in school and university curricula.



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