« C’est pas about toi, c’est about moi » : l’acadjonne, le rap et l’intertextualité dans la construction identitaire du rappeur acadien Jacobus




Ziminova, Olga

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This thesis analyzes elements which contribute to the construction of the artistic identity of the Acadian rap artist Jacobus. Nowadays, many artists perform on the local and international stages from musical, social or linguistic margins. Their success is due to the democratization of production and music broadcasting tools. As this phenomenon becomes more and more common and popular, “marginal” artists and their communities blur the lines between the mainstream and the underground, by the means of performing in their vernacular and promoting these authentic language practices. Jacobus sings in Acadjonne, a variety of Acadian French spoken in la Baie Sainte-Marie, Nova Scotia. By singing in his vernacular, consciously or not, he claims his Acadian identity, as other artists do so with Chiac, another variety of Acadian French (for example, Lisa LeBlanc and Les Hay Babies). Jacobus, as other artists, claims and proclaims his Acadian identity while promoting his vernacular, which has provoked controversial discussions in the media. Through his songs, the artist destroys the stereotypes of rap music. At the same time, he transgresses the linguistics norms by choosing the linguistic minority over the proper, standard French. In this thesis, I analyze the songs from Jacobus’ two solo albums and various aspects of his songs that contribute to the construction of a “marginalized” and authentic artistic identity. This research shows that the artist’s linguistic practices and the fact that he brings the Acadjonne variety on the Québécois, Canadian or even global stages, contribute to the construction of his authentic identity, but also to the spreading of local varieties of French language, which goes against the linguistic imperialism of the ideology of the standard. This linguistic behaviour enhances the actual societal conversation about inclusion and diversity in Canada.



Francophonie, Linguistics, Acadian French, Rap music, Artistic identity