(An open letter to Les Nubians, from a disaffected Frenchman who has immigrated to America.)
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Bonjour, Les Nubians, my little chocolate bonbons.
It is so nice to see you over on this side of the Atlantique, where you are appreciated more, where black men have no choice but to get their Pepe Le Pew on when they have you two in their sights. So you say your home country does not understand you. They thought your first album, Princesses Nubiennes, was pretentious and "not really black." I spit on those swine -- toueh! What do my former countrymen know about beautiful black souls crafting beautiful black soul? They are too busy sticking their noses in the air, obviously trying not to get a whiff of their appalling garlic/wine body essence, to appreciate fine musical art. The French -- with their boring Eric Rohmer films and their erection for Jerry Lewis. Gérard Depardieu is a sex symbol over there -- of course they're not going to comprehend you!
Engine Room, 1515 Pease
Sunday, July 20; for more information, call 713-629-3700
Non non non, come over here where you will be treated with the adoration that you so, so, so deserve. Do you like the way American critics have praised your latest album, One Step Forward? Is that the kind of respect and appreciation you desire? There is more where that came from if you make the U.S. your permanent residence. You live in Philadelphia, which is, shall we say, a step forward. (Oh, I made a joke -- I am so droll!) You're in the right place if you want to create exemplary black music.
But it doesn't have to stop there. America can provide you with the finest producers (there are two men who call themselves the Neptunes who are just waiting for your phone call), the best publicity (have you ever heard of a show called 106 & Park?) and, most important, a place to call home. A home where people won't pass judgment on you just because you are different. (Vive la différence -- fah! -- that is the greatest lie the French ever told!) Well, les Américains still do that, but at least they don't eat snails and smell like gym socks soaked in perfume when they do. Ciao, my little cabbages!