Quebec's Dead Obies Lose $18,000 Grant for Having Too Many Lyrics in English
Published Mar 17, 2016Having dropped their sophomore record Gesamtkunstwerk earlier this month, Quebecois hip-hop/electronic crew Dead Obies are set to lose a grant worth $18,000 they had been awarded to support their project.
The National Post reports that Musicaction, a foundation that distributes federal government and radio industry money to emerging francophone artists, is set to rescind the grant over the percentage of lyrical content that is in the English and French languages.
A 30-year-old rule put in place by the foundation states that records with 70 percent francophone lyrics are eligible. Gesamtkunstwerk's lyrics were 55 percent French and 45 percent English, causing the band to return a $9,000 payment used to fund the record, along with the remaining $9,000.
Band member Jean-François Ruel felt that ruling was out of touch with modern Quebec. "I think the way that Quebec culture is going to preserve itself and not be swallowed by the mass Internet culture and American culture is by staying on point and staying modern and giving support to the new generation that is doing things another way," he told the paper. "We still carry the French tradition."
Anglophone Musicaction equivalent FACTOR has a similar ruling, stating that performers whose lyrics are more than 50 percent in French are not eligible for grants, so this also excludes Dead Obies. The National Post also points out that Musicaction operates independently from the government, giving the organization freedom to set its own eligibility requirements.