‘SLAM’. Born of an idea of the American poet Marc Smith in 1986, ‘slam’ makes the reading of poems both less elitist and less boring. Slam provides minimal rules, leaving a great freedom for poets. The first events of European slam appeared in 1993 in Europe.
In France, slam as a genre or specific scene appears only in the 1990s. In Paris, a confusion exists on the term slam, sometimes used to designate a simple open scene of reading poems, that is to say, the spoken word! Record labels try to sell individual artists to the public using the term ‘slam’, which they limit to urban poetry sung or declaimed with music.
GRAND CORPS MALADE
Fabien Marsaud (born 31 July 1977 in Le Blanc–Mesnil, Seine–Saint–Denis) better known by his stage name Grand Corps Malade is a French slam poet and lyricist, known for his low voice and for releasing songs and albums on which he slams over music.
His stage name means “Tall Sick Body” in French, a reference to his height and to a spine injury that forces him to walk with a crutch.
He has been active in slam/music since 2003. His debut album Midi 20 was released in 2006 becoming a top 10 selling album for the year in France. He has won many awards. In 2013 he released his fourth 13-track studio album Funambule after quitting his former label AZ.
To listen to his music refer to his website www.grandcorpsmalade.com (in French) or YouTube.
His work is liberating and compulsive listening. This new genre which in a sense deconstructs poetry also makes it available to the everyday consumer. If you are a Francophile you will be drawn to this genre!