INTERVIEW – Fred Musa: « There is a problem of female representativeness in the whole society in general »

You’ve been hosting “Planete Rapfor nearly twenty years. How many female rappers did you have on your show?

As a matter of fact, very little. Of course there was Diam’s, who brought about a revolution. I’d say she’s the best of all rappers, regardless of gender. More recently, there were people like Sianna or Ladea, but it’s true that the ratio between guys and girls is very low.

You directed and produced two documentaries about Diam’s. Why is she so inspiring to you?

I have a very special relationship with her because we met a long time ago and she trusted me so I could follow her during the recording of « Dans ma bulle« .I always felt her desire to be better than everyone else, she was fiercely competitive. I’d like to see her rap again, read her texts and listen to her, but she chose a different way of life that makes her feel better. That’s her choice and I respect that.

Who are your favorite female rappers?

There were Saliha, Sté, that I  liked a lot and was amazing,Lady Laistee who is someone I really like too. Sianna is an important figure as well, I hope she breaks through with great albums and great tracks. I also watch out for a femcee from the North of France called Emma (Emotrip Records).

You often worked with women (Sarah Lelouch, Audrey Chauveau ou Aline Afanoukoé). Is it coincidental or intentional?

It’s neither intentional nor coincidental. You know, it’s like religions and cultures. Whatever your color, religion or gender, it’s people that matter. What they can bring us and what we can do together to make things move forward. That’s what’s most important to me.

Why do you think there are so little female rappers in the media in France?

The reality in rap music, is that there are very little women who break through because there are very little women who rap. It’s like boxing. Boxing is a very masculine sport, there are female boxers but still not many. Rap is the same.

I think it’s also maybe, that’s only my opinion and my deduction, that some girls think “we show up in male-dominated environment so what should we do to stand out? What to do to be different from the others?” But we must try to encourage them if they’re talented.

How is the situation different in the US?

In France, it’s different. In the US, you have Missy Elliott or Da Brat and when you see their lyrics, I think that we’ve never got that far in France. Maybe that’s a good thing, regarding the way they about women’s condition in their texts. We don’t have that in France because our culture and our writing are different. Also maybe that some girls also think “I’d rather sing or not be an artist at all”. It’s a tough and complicated world. Anyway girls, you play a key role so come on, we’re waiting for you!

Hip hop is perceived as sexist and homophobic. What do you think about that?

Obviously, rap is a trend and a reflection of our society, so why are there not as many female rappers as male ones? And why is it the same in politics? How many women are there in the national assembly? (27%) For real? I think there is a real problem there too. There is a problem of female representativeness in the whole society in general. Why do women earn less money than men? These are real questions.

What should be done to change this?

Fifty or sixty years ago women could not vote here in France (women got the right to vote in 1944). So I think it will come naturally, maybe we need to wait for one or two more generations and little by little it will happen. I really judge people on talent, in the field I know that is rap and music. It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl, as long as you have talent you’ll succeed.

A piece of advice for young female rappers?

Go girls, go! Go and don’t be scared. Even if there are a lot of men out there, you can dethrone them.

Find Fred Musa on Twitter or listen to him on Skyrock between 9 and 12AM and on Planete Rap between 8 and 9PM. 

Éloïse Bouton

Lire l’interview en français ici.