Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

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A French rap star was placed in custody on Tuesday after a brawl at a Paris shop owned by a rival rapper left a young man fighting for his life in the latest chapter of an ongoing feud between two of the music genre’s biggest names.

According to witnesses, around a dozen people, among them the rapper Rohff, entered a branch o fUnkut, the clothing brand owned by fellow hip hop star Booba, in the centre of Paris late on Monday afternoon.

“They asked to speak to an employee of the shop and a fight broke out,” a source close to the police investigation told the AFP news agency.

A 19-year-old employee was seriously injured after being “kicked and punched” in the scuffle, said the source.

He was rushed unconscious to the Beaujon Hospital in the Paris’s northern suburbs where on Tuesday he was fighting for his life, French daily Le Figaro reported.

Rohff was placed into custody in the early hours of Tuesday after going with his lawyer to a police station in central Paris.

French rap becoming more violent?

The incident marks a violent escalation in the months-long feud between Rohff and Booba that, until now, has largely been confined to verbal attacks on social media and in song lyrics.

The only real-life altercation of note was a scuffle near Booba’s home in Miami involving Booba and another French rapper, La Fouine, who has also become involved in the feud after aligning himself with Rohff.

It is also largely unprecedented in the French hip hop scene, which has so far remained free of the kind of violent feuds that have in the past affected the genre in the US, such as the infamous rivalry betweenTupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. in the mid 1990s.

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