Soldat De Plomb Abd Al Malik Explication Essay

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

Tout maigre dans ma grosse veste
Qui me servait d'armure
J'avais du shit dans mes chaussettes
Et je faisais dans mon pantalon

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

J'avais juste douze ans
Les poches remplies d'argent
J'avais déjà vu trop de sang

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

J'étais adolescent
Quand j'ai vu le destin prendre un calibre
Et nous descendre un par un
Mort par overdose
Par arme à feu
Par arme blanche ou par pendaison

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

Bien sûr qu'un sourire nous aurait fait plaisir
Juste un peu d'attention
Et peut-être ç'aurait été autrement
Nous aurions été des enfants normaux
Et pas des enfants soldats

Soldats de plomb
Soldats de plomb

Ca ne pouvait finir qu'en drame
Quand nous étions dans cette cave
Et que tout notre escadron
S'est mis à sniffer de la came

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

Des copines que j'avais connues belles
S'étaient changé en loques humaines
A cause de l'héroïne
Qu'elles s'étaient injectées dans les veines
Soldatesses fatiguées

Soldats de plomb
Soldats de plomb

Certains de mes proches, de mes frères
Décidèrent de faire sauter la banque à coup de revolver
Cinq, dix, quinze ans fermes
Mais on ne parle plus que par lettres

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

Sous le volant les câbles pendent
Il roulait vite pour pas se faire prendre
L'explosion sonna BOOM
Et il se fit pendre

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

Sans oublier les histoires bêtes
Un contrôle d'identité
On finit une balle dans la tête

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

Alors ça finit en émeute, en guerre rangée
C.R.S casqués
Contre jeunes en meute, enragés

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

Alors aujourd'hui quand j'entend des journalistes me dire
Que parler de paix et d'amour, ça ne sert à rien si ce n'est divertir
Je pense à ces mecs et ces meufs dont l'ultime demeure est sous une croix ou tournée vers la Mecque
Ces petits mecs et ces petites meufs qu'on ne considèrera jamais comme des héros
Ou même comme de simples victimes de guerre
Moi, je ne vous oublie pas
Et en votre mémoire éternelle
Je ferai tout, pour faire la paix avec moi-même
Et avec les autres aussi
Pour un monde meilleur
Vive la France arc-en-ciel
Unie, et débarrassée de toutes ses peurs

Soldat de plomb
Soldat de plomb

Donne-moi la main
Donne-moi la main
Donne-moi la main
Donne-moi la main

By Polly de Blank
BBC News, Angouleme, France

France's Metisses Music Festival seeks to promote social and cultural crossovers in what often feels like an ethnically divided nation.

The festival is under way in the city of Angouleme, in south-western France. It is showcasing international legends such as Cuban crooner Omara Portuondo and Malian guitar maestro Habib Koite.

Yet instead of prohibitively expensive tickets, most concerts are free.

With the fans dancing to everything from rumba to reggae, the festival seems to have been successful in bringing people from different backgrounds and generations together to have a good time.

Rap with a conscience

One fast-rising star performing here is Abd Al Malik, a French rapper of Congolese origin whose background and music embodies the spirit of the festival.

Al Malik feels enriched by his cross-cultural experience

His latest album Gibraltar has already won four awards, including the prestigious Victoire de la Musique. It's an original mix of hip-hop, slam poetry and French philosophy.

He sees Gibraltar as the symbolic meeting point of Africa and Europe. "The reason I called it Gibraltar was to use music to try and link our different cultures and people together."

He takes his early years on the streets of Strasbourg's banlieues - the poor suburbs - as a source of inspiration. He sings of child drug-dealers and young lives lost in gang wars.

Personal experience

In one track, Soldat de Plomb (Soldier of Lead), Al Malik raps I was 12 years old, pockets full of money, already seen too much blood.

Abd Al Malik is smartly dressed and poised. "That's my life, I lived all that. Everything on that disc was experienced by me or my friends and family," he says.

Existentialist writer Albert Camus is among Al Malik's influences

But if you think this singer is yet another rapper getting rich by glamorising the violent lives of gangsters, you would be mistaken.

"The aesthetic should always serve a moral purpose, it's what's called artistic responsibility. The French writer Albert Camus and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre followed this idea, and I want to do the same," he says.

Not the usual response I've come to expect from a rap star. Behind these songs of petty crime and adolescent disaffection lies a moral message.

"The idea behind Gibraltar is to show that just because we lived that kind of life, we should still be seen as human beings.

"Often, people like me are stereotyped, but in reality the majority of us want to live normal lives. Most people in the banlieues are like me - they've managed to turn around their situation. There are many more positive than negative stories and I wanted them to be heard."

African roots

Al Malik is French, but he spent a few early years in Congo Brazzaville, his parents' home country. How does he reconcile the two sides of his identity?

We must be vigilant citizens, in a democracy the people have the power

"Using the metaphor of a tree, my roots are Congolese and African and I have respect for my origins and take care of them, for example my relationship with the ancestors is very important.

"At the same time, the fruit from my tree is French and European. I am not from two cultures, but within me is diversity, and see this as a gift."

France has had more than its fair share of news about riots, intolerance and division. But Abd Al Malik's music and life tells a different story and it's going down well among his fans. When he arrives on stage in the rappers' uniform of hooded top and camouflage, the crowd screams with delight.

Literary inspiration

He takes his position as role model seriously, as is demonstrated on a track called Celine. It makes a surprising comparison between the controversial 20th-Century French writer Louis-Ferdinand Celine and rappers like himself.

"Celine revolutionised literature because he was very close to real people, like us rappers today. That's generally a good thing, but there's a danger about being so close to the people; you can start to embrace all the things that are wrong with society.

"In Celine's time, anti-Semitism was rife and he fell into the trap of becoming anti-Semitic himself. Today, we rappers can sometimes do the same and say it's always the fault of others, or apologise for violence, or become misogynistic or too materialistic."

And how does he view the French elections? He does not want to speak for the black or Muslim communities, as he says the only community that counts is France as a whole.

"Politicians must do their work and we must judge in the long term. We must be vigilant citizens, in a democracy the people have the power and if we disapprove of what they do we must use our tools to show our disapproval.

"We shouldn't be excessively pessimistic or positive, but fair. The best thing you can do to make the world a better place is to improve yourself. I think in France we have all the tools available to do that."

And with those final words of wisdom, Abd Al Malik walks off to greet his attentive and ever-growing fans.

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