Growing up all around the French capital and hailing from all parts of francophone Africa, the Parisian hip-hop collective Sexion d’Assaut has proven that there is power in diversity. The variety of styles present in a given track mixed in with their individual lyrical collaborations combine to form a hypnotically rhythmic creation often imparting a good deal of knowledge as well. And in keeping with their powerful lyrical presence and melodious accompaniment, their track “Africain” does not disappoint.
The French hip-hop scene has been undoubtedly driven by African immigrant communities since it’s inception, and Sexion d’Assaut is an extension of that legacy. With members from Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the group truly is a representation of African musical talent in an adopted homeland. This is mentioned many times in their track “Africain’, which literally means “African.”
“I’m from here and I’m Senegalese / I’m from France, my childhood, I’m not gonna show it off” This line displays the understanding that the group has that they may now be different in many ways having lived in their adopted country of France for many years, but they still desire to maintain connection with their ancestral homelands and the culture and people that they represent abroad.
Throughout the track Africa is mentioned numerous times as a place that the artists feel they must represent, and that they also wish the best for from their new homes. They mention how it is frustrating for them to hear stories of Africa being “dangerous” and “backwards” when it is a continent that they know very well to be full of life. Therefore, they acknowledge their roles as members of a culture in a new land and seek to witness the rise of a new Africa in their absence, one that takes control of its own future: “I want to see an African in the space / I don’t want to see Africa on its knees anymore.”
Here’s the video (in French)