Malik has obviously drawn inspiration from the great ‘storytelling’ tradition in songwriting (his influences extending from Bob Dylan to Notorious BIG) and the rapper claims that he admires Raymond Carver’s short stories as much as the songs of Jacques Brel. But wherever his inspiration may take him, his own writing style remains firmly anchored in the French literary history, Dante containing unmistakable traces of Gilles Deleuze, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and André Malraux. Meanwhile, on another track entitled Césaire (Brazzaville via Oujda), Malik pays a poignant tribute to Aimé Césaire, the famous Martinican poet who died whilst he was recording his new album. In the Alsatian rapper’s eyes the man who came up with the concept of “Négritude” is all too often forgotten in the French literary canon. “It should be Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Césaire!” Malik insists. More here.