Kery James, the face of socially-conscious French rap for more than twenty-five years, black poet of finely-chiseled work of keen sensitivity, returns with a new title, Shithole Country.
According to the Washington Post and the New York Times, during a meeting with numerous US senators to discuss a proposal to limit the number of family-reuniting immigration visas, President Donald Trump evoked many African nations, El Salvador, and Haiti, declaring:
“Why do all these people from shithole countries come here?”
This new provocation from Trump was not lost on rapper Kery James, himself from Haitian origins, who answers Trump in Shithole Country: What shithole country?!
Shithole Country once again embodies the explosive power of Kery James’s rap, his commitment, his resolve, and the force of his convictions.
It also revisits highlights from his discography: Lettre à la République (Letter to the Republic), 2012, https://bit.ly/LrXzmj
and Racailles (Scum), 2016, https://bit.ly/29I2Zcl
calling out the politicians and the powerful in France. For Kery James, “The battle continues,” now more than ever.
Shithole Country: Kery James, accompanied by rapper Kalash Criminel, responds to Donald Trump.
BIO - KERY JAMES
Born to Haitian parents, raised in Guadeloupe and from a family in a tough social situation, Kery James – born Alix Mathurin – distinguished himself from a very young age with the quality of his finely-chiseled writing and his keen sensitivity. He’s a paragon of French hip-hop. At eleven years old, the young Kery James was a standout at the MJC national youth cultural program in Orly for his talent as a author, dancer and rapper. 1991 saw the release of MC Solaar’s Qui Sème le Vent Récolte le Tempo, featuring James’s first guest collaboration. A year later, he and friends created the group Ideal J, and he is part of the collective Mafia K’1 Fry.
For more than twenty-five years, his rap has remained deeply committed to an ardent engagement opposing inequality and promoting a humanist approach, guided by a defiant optimism. Multiplying his successes, the artist has sold more than 700,000 albums in recent years, filled Olympia Stadium seven times, Zénith Arena three times, and Bercy Arena once. His YouTube videos have had tens of millions of views. Kery James’s talent reaches beyond urban cultural borders. Notably, he has collaborated with Charles Aznavour, who recognized a certain kindred spirit in James. Beyond his writing, James – leading figure in socially-aware rap, worlds away from the violent clichés used by some other artists of the genre – has strived for many years to anchor his actions in the real world.
Kery James then returned to his recording studio; his next album is set for release in November 9th 2018, including his first single “PDM!?” [“Shithole Country”] followed by a tour of France and francophone countries, including a show at the Zenith in Paris, in December 8th 2018.
À Vif, the first theater piece written by Kery James, directed by Jean-Pierre Baro and interpreted by Yannik Landrein and James, adapted from the screenplay Banlieusards, had its run prolonged, and sold out every show at the Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris. It was reprised at the same theater, and finally toured throughout France. A new third season of À Vif will run from January to April 2019, with more than thirty shows.
With his theater piece À Vif, Kery James has powerfully united an audience from all sides, all social stratifications and generations. Once again, he brings the two Frances together. For his first effort as a screenwriter, James was hailed by his peers. He was a finalist for the Grand Prix Sopadin for best screenplay, and a laureate of the prestigious Association Beaumarchais for his first screenplay adaptation for cinema, Banlieusards, which is being filmed in September 2018, co-directed by Leïla Sy and Kery James.
The book of À Vif, published by Actes Sud-Papiers, was an immense success.
LEARN, UNDERSTAND, UNDERTAKE & SERVE (APPRENDRE, COMPRENDRE, ENTREPRENDRE & SERVIR)
Through his association A.C.E.S., Kery James distributes school supplies, supports higher education students, and leads writing workshops, like the ones he used to participate in during his youth. In 2014, Kery James began a tour in support of these efforts, The A.C.E.S. Tour. He performed the best-known works from his twenty-five years career in acoustic versions, accompanied by readings from some of the great figures of history: Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, etc. In each city, the artist, supported by other well-known personalities like Omar Sy, Florent Malouda, Lilian Thuram, etc., bestowed scholarships on students selected by a jury, to aid their higher education studies. Kery James thereby once again raised his music to a level of civic action.