At the core of this research paper was the objective to investigate the ways in which online magazines represented French rapper, Nekfeu in comparisons to the perception mechanisms experienced by audiences aged between eighteen and 30 years old. Media representations in general have an impact on societies as they actively contribute to the meaning-making process undergone by audiences while engaging in social developments. Music is one of the most influential types of entertainment media as it participates vigorously in the elaboration of social identities and cultures. The following research question led the investigation: How does the media representation of French rapper, Nekfeu, compare to the French young adults’ perceptions? Previous research suggests that media outlets in general and music in particular play a critical role in the collective mind by shaping and influencing societies’ point of views and mindsets. Furthermore, they also conclude that there is a trend in representing rap music and rappers according to rather negative stereotypical depictions. Although research have been led on the representation of rap music by media, very few studies focused primarily on specific rappers and/or French rap. This study was performed through the combination of a qualitative visual and thematic content analysis of fifty pre-selected pictures retrieved from online magazines discussing Nekfeu and eight semi-structured in-depth interviews. This was done in order to retrieve overarching patterns informing the reader on the way Nekfeu is represented in modern media and opinions. Contrary to what has been exposed in the literature review, the analysis of the 50 images tend to depict Nekfeu mainly according to positive stereotypical representation associated with rap music nowadays. Themes portraying French rappers as actively promoting togetherness and community but also showing Nekfeu as a diversified creative artist of a discreet and altruistic nature were uncovered (Lang, 2000 & Gonzales, 2005). However, the thematic and visual analysis also brings to light the persistence of certain negative depictions such as the presence of themes relating to violence and threats to society (Koza, 1999). The results extracted from both the visual and thematic content analysis have pointed out that the representation and perception of rap have positively evolved, although this remains a slow and complicated process. Therefore, the media contribute as much as the public to revive the image of current French rap by putting forward rappers such as Nekfeu who embody a more diverse and inclusive urban culture. In that sense, this thesis expands on pre-existing literature by demonstrating the importance of rap in the French culture and vice-versa. It also contributes to the common stereotypical representations associated with rap by nuancing them.

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Dr. AM Diallo
Media & Creative Industries
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Carla Ferlin. (2022, June 27). Cyborg: Modern Perspectives on French rap’s UFO, Nekfeu A thematic interpretation of French media visual representations and audience interview perceptions of Nekfeu. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from