January 24, 2022

Concert. Casey: “Rap does not escape racist clichés”

“You take tons of French song lyrics, everyone knows it’s fiction. When it’s rap, strangely, it’s taken very first degree, ”observes Casey. (©DR)

The general public discovered Casey with Tragedy of a Trajectory (2006). Then Free The Beast. We saw her in the rock group Zone Libre in L’Angle Mort or at the theater in Viril with Virginie Despentes and Béatrice Dalle. In Évreux, she will come with Ausgang (with Marc Sens on guitar / bass, Manusound on machines / bass, and Sonny Troupé on drums).

“Pure projection and pure interpretation”

In the image, we see her: narrowed eyes, turned up jacket collar and scarf crossing out a face eaten by an A which is reminiscent of that of the punks who frightened old ladies. Scare as a way to get attention? “No, we are not in the student provocation, cut Casey. Neither scare the old ladies, nor anyone. To scare is an interpretation (laughter), I don’t know what we’re supposed to scare about. And why the old ladies, I don’t know. It’s really pure projection and pure interpretation ”.
To Augustin Trapenard, of which she was the guest on France Inter at the beginning of November (Boomerang of November 9), she spoke of the texts, of the words, of their symbolic violence. Here too, we try to take the first degree which could frighten. “No, no, no, I find it hard to understand, because 1st degree violence is only first degree when it comes to rap. You take tons of French song lyrics, everyone knows it’s fiction. When it’s rap, strangely, it’s taken very first degree. So, no, I don’t understand it ”.

“You are evading the question of race”

We insist, doesn’t all this create a misunderstanding, a misunderstanding? “I don’t understand and I understand because there are certain stereotypes, we understand that these are stereotypes, there are certain forms of staging that are very well understood, and others not, especially at the place of some people, either one is completely ignorant or one is completely lucid. We can’t be both at the same time. This is what I have trouble understanding ”.
We try to draw a parallel with rock, which, in its heyday when young people in the neighborhoods got drunk, frightened the bourgeoisie. “You’re dodging the question of race, who raps and who rocked the rock in the ’60s,” Casey says. It is a question that is present beyond music. Namely what the people of the neighborhoods represent and everything associated with rap: namely immigration, Islam. Rap does not escape racist clichés. Who does rap? You cannot compare rock and rap which would be subjected to the same stereotypes. No, there is the race which intervenes! “

“Rap, we know it or not”

We temper, by pointing out to him that the criticisms that accompanied the release of Orelsan’s new record a few days ago were not much nicer, while he does not tick all the boxes of the stereotype, as if he was not legitimate. “I haven’t read the reviews, and I’m not going to talk about Orelsan because I’m promoting my record already (laughs). But Orelsan has been raping for a long time. I think it’s people who are very unfamiliar with rap who can afford that kind of commentary. France is the only country where we talk about rap without listening to it, without really knowing this culture. Rap, we know it or not. It is a question of culture. So, we are always given the same clichés. I don’t know anything about Gregorian music and even less about classical music and I don’t spend my time giving my opinion on classical music ”.

“Rap has won”

We still force it, Casey observes that “rock has nothing more to say” and that “rap has won”. What does she mean by “rap has won”. “It means that when I started raping, it was an extremely minority music in France, extremely criticized, it was only doomed to be a somewhat vulgar fashion, supposed to never to stay there only five or ten years, that was the discourse of all those who looked down on her, who did not understand her and from whom they expected nothing. It was their opinion when nothing had been asked of them. Now, rap in France is everywhere. That’s all. Rap won. It has supplanted variety. Even variety makes rap ”.

“To have a voice that carries”

Like rock again, rap leaves this opportunity to whoever it wants to be, as it wants, it is pointed out. “Depending on the individual, you will have different answers. Some will tell you: I make music to seduce, for glory, for fame, for money, to express myself ”. Why is Casey making music? “To express myself. Principally. Afterwards, for many other reasons, but the main one is this one. Have a voice that carries. Let me be heard, even if I have not been asked for my opinion. I give it. There you go, that helps me (laughs), to give my opinion when I haven’t been asked! “

“Multiplicity is not a problem”

Precisely, we ask his opinion. She who affirms: “I am an anomaly, I am neither girl, nor guy”, how does she see the debate which agitates around the neo-pronoun iel? “Is it important? I think it is for all those who carry this discourse and who want us to determine them like that, as they would like to be determined. I don’t see why that would be a problem. Multiplicity is not a problem. The multiplicity of denominations or determinations is not problematic. »How does she see rap aging? “I don’t know, I really don’t have the gift of divination. I do not know anything at all. We try the trail of the trap of gentrification. “Getting gentrified is not a trap in itself (laughs). I don’t know why you see it as a trap. Rap has already become gentrified, that’s fine, well done, congratulations to him. “

“I am the problem”

While we are at it, we ask her how she sees the outcome of a society that is fracturing a little more every day with, schematically, on one side the conservatives and on the other the progressives, while a presidential election on the horizon? “Are you asking me?” (to laugh). Already, this fracture, for me who am from Martinique, who am a descendant of slaves, this fracture exists before colonization. It’s not surprising. Afterwards, if you ask me my prognosis for the elections, I don’t know. Is it a surprise that extremes exist in France, no. I grew up in France, I have always grown up with the FN which has become the RN. The RPR which became the LR, all this is not very surprising. Me, my position is different, I am black. I am the subject. I am insecure. I am Islam. I am radicalism. I am the problem. So, it’s not very surprising to me. “
This response is clearly unsettling for those who have never seen their neighbor through the prism of color. “I’m telling you with a lot of irony, but it turns out that with each election we always come to convene both immigration, and the insecurity we associate with it. And that from all sides and from all parties. It is not the extreme. Me, I do not know. For me, as a black person, as this person who feels targeted every time in each election, when we are going to talk about insecurity, radicalism, or when we are going to talk about immigration, or the failure of assimilation, or double civilization, we have to admit that when we are non-white, it happens that we are talking about us. Often. “

“Either live together or die together”

The finding is disarming. “Disarming, yes and no, it’s not like I didn’t grow up here and don’t know my country. No, it’s not disarming, it’s just… No wonder. But to come back to your question, how is it going to end? I do not know. We are all in the same country, I think there are two solutions: either live together or die together. I don’t know what the solution is ”. We could have evoked the solution of flight, but we submit to it the solution of the domination of one group over the other. “Yes, it can be a war, but war is like dying together, in all ways. We are all going to live together or all to die together. We’ll see. I don’t know anything about it ”. Finally, we try the question of optimism about the future. “I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic, it is not a permanent state with me, optimism, these are changing states. So I can’t tell you. I advance. I advance. That’s all. Because we have no other choice but to move forward ”.


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Ausgang, Saturday, November 27, 8:30 p.m. at Kubb. First part: YN. Price: 10 to 16 €.

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