When the leading Belgian newspaper De Morgen, which styles itself as progressive, published an image of Obama and his wife as chimps and passed it off as satire, they did not expect a backlash. They assumed that their readers would laugh and move on, and it would be business as usual. This assumption was rooted in two facts.
Zambia’s victory in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations was a great story, and one that even the crustiest of cynics could get behind. A team returned to the site of the national tragedy in which their fathers’ wonderfully talented generation of footballers were killed, and won the trophy against overwhelming odds. They sung in unison as the emotional penalty shootout unfolded, and when the celebrations began, the coach picked up an injured player and carried him across the pitch to his jubilant teammates. What wasn’t to like?
New York is an amazing city, especially from a hip-hop perspective. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can see that hip-hop is part of the culture, not just something that you watch on TV. But for me – doing music that is mostly in French and not in some Congolese language that sounds exotic for Western people – it’s a difficult market. I take everything that happens here like a plus one. I’m not supposed to be here.