We All Are Americans

YelleEven as McDonalds continues to evoke freedom fries francophobia in new advertisements, there are signs that the popular culture has moved on, and that we are on the brink of a new era in French-American relations. The ambassador of this d├ętente? None other than a 25 year old female electro-hip-hopper named Yelle. Video and analysis after the jump.


Its not just that MTV has picked up Yelle as its current artist of the week as a tie-in to the Lauren Conrad-in-Paris-fucking-shit-up episode of The Hills. A quick view of the above video for the single “Je Veux te Voir” reveals an artist enamored of American youth culture, from 90’s revivalism, to American Apparel short-shorts, to pimped out Hummers. This stands in stark contrast to the stereotype many Americans hold of the French- drinking wine and eating cheese while reading Derrida and bemoaning the vacuous nature of the ever expanding American cultural hegemony.

Its clear: Yelle loves American hipsters, and American music bloggers have been quick to return the favor. And Yelle isn’t just an aberration: Kanye’s jumping on last year’s Daft Punk revivalism and the French duo Justice’s affection for Michael Jackson, 80s Metal, and old-school HBO provide additional evidence that the transatlantic love is deep and mutual.

If this is the beginning of a bigger trend, it may be necessary to abandon the widely held conception of globalization as the inevitable forward march of McWorld and start thinking about the possibility of a syncretic transnational hipsterati as a driving force in shaping word culture. The end of history is on its way. And it is wearing a unitard.

3 Comments on “We All Are Americans”

  1. Mark #

    I am no linguicist, but I’m pretty sure she’s singing in French with a slight American…urban…accent. Is this my imagination, or has anyone else noticed that pop singers, when singing roughly in the style of R&B or rapping but in a language other than English, subtly take on certain “urban” sounding pronunciation?