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The group with a member of the Réseau de Résistance du Québécois
|Origin||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Members||Biz (Stéphane Frechette)
Batlam (Sebastien Ricard)
Chafiik (Mathieu Farhoud-Dionne)
Loco Locass are a Canadian hip hop group from Québec formed in 1995. The group often defends the role of the French language, and champions Quebec sovereignty. Songs such as "ROC Rap" and "Résistance" highlight the band's political leanings, and their strong advocation for Quebec to secede from Canada.
The group was formed as an "experimental rap" group by Biz (Sébastien Fréchette) and Batlam (Sébastien Ricard) under the name 'Koubraüss'. The group later changed its name from 'Koubraüss' to 'Les Locos Loquaces'.
In 1999 the band again changed its name, first to 'Locos Locass' and then to 'Loco Locass', also adding new band member Chafiik (Mathieu Farhoud-Dionne).
The band musicians besides the trio of Biz, Batlam and Chafiik are Jeanse, Djip, Lester G, VöV and Tchi Tchi Novo Solmol
The group made the headlines in 2004 with their hit single Libérez-nous des libéraux (Liberate us from the Liberals), a song denouncing the views of the Jean Charest and Paul Martin governments, and featuring vocals from Quebec comic group Les Zapartistes. The song took subtler shots along the way at Bernard Landry for what they viewed as an unwillingness to tackle controversial issues on his part; it was re-released on the 2004 album Amour oral in a longer, extended version.
On 25 February 2010, Chafiik of Loco Locass has signed, together with 500 artists, the call to support the international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israeli apartheid.
In the winter of 2005, Loco Locass supported the political arm of the Quebec student movement during a major student strike, protesting against the Quebec Liberal government of the day's conversion of $103m in bursary funding to loans. Critics, however, charged that the group's song Casse du 24 supported what they felt to be police repression of students.
Particularly given the importance of the "national question" in Quebec culture and politics, it is unsurprising that Loco Locass's self-image as a vehicle for promoting the sovereigntist option has played into existing social divisions. These divisions have played out on several occasions:
St-Jean Concert: on June 24, 2005, the group took part in a show marking the government-designated Quebec National Holiday organised by Les Cowboys Fringants at Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau. The ten-hour politicized show's $40 entry fee was controversial, as was its sponsorship by Coca-Cola and Gillette, companies some left-wing nationalists identified as "Anglo-Saxon imperialists", leading to charges that the show constituted elitist competition with a long-established event at Parc Maisonneuve.
Federal Funding: Loco Locass are not among the sovereigntist artists whose political stance leads them to boycott federal funding programmes. In particular, some of their recordings have received federal recording industry subsidies. Federalists have charged that this poses an integrity problem, since they accept funding from the very level of government whose rejection they seek to promote.
Federalists Leave Home: Biz was reported during the spring of 2006 as suggesting that those who do not support the sovereignty option should leave Quebec. Some also accuse Biz's of taking part of the history of accusations of disloyalty by nationalists.
Poids plume (Featherweight): After the group's first album birthed a first poetry collection, Manifestif, Loco Locass released their second book, Featherweight, bringing together the lyrics to their albums Amour Oral and In Vivo. The 128-page book was published in November 2005 (Éditions Fides) and included photos by Marie-Lyne Baril and illustrations by Alain Reno.
On August 19, 2005, in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, Loco Locass played five of their songs accompanied by a young string orchestra of musicians aged 12 to 17, an initiative of Camp Musical St-Alexandre director-conductor Mathieu Rivest. The five songs were La censure pour l'échafaud, La bataille des murailles, L'empire du pire en pire, Antiaméricanisme primaire and Libérez-nous des libéraux, to which music by Prokofiev, Berlioz, and Stravinsky was added. Partners included Télé-Québec, Vidéo Femmes and Audiogram, and a documentary entitled Symphonie Locass was released in the winter of 2006. It was directed by Martine Asselin and Marco Dubé and produced by Pauline Voisard and Jacques Turgeon. The National Film Board of Canada was the production house.
Loco Locass have won awards from:
- ADISQ (best hip-hop album for Amour Oral, 2005);
- CRIA-certified gold album for selling 50,000 copies of Amour Oral (2005);
- Grafika (best CD cover for 'Amour oral, second opus, 2005);
- MIMI (Mots-Dits prize for lyrics and best song award for Libérez-nous des libéraux, 2005);
- MuchMusic Video Awards (nominated for best French-language video, 2005);
- MusiquePlus (artist of the month, April 2005).
- Manifestif (2000)
- In Vivo (EP) (2003)
- Amour Oral (2004)
- Le Québec est mort, Vive le Québec ! (2012) #4 CAN
- Sheila Chu la (2002)
- Groove Grave (2005)
- Bonzaion (2005)
- Spleen & Montreal (2006)
- La bataille des murailles en symphonique (2006)
- La censure pour l'échafaud (2006)
- La Paix des Braves (featuring Samian) (2007)
- M'accrocher (2008)
- Hymne à Québec (2010)
- Le But (2010)