Monsieur Nov, I Have An All New Appreciation For You...

7.5.12 ShaSha LaPerf 17 Comments

Yes I know I talked about Monsieur Nov last year, but recently a certain video has made me have an all new appreciation for him. I'm talking about this video and song by the group Chester French titled Black Grirls. Here's the NSFW video and here are the lyrics:




The video has already made it's way through many blogs. Of course it's spurred many debates about whether the one or all the band's member actually do like and date black women, casual hipster racism, as well as the fetishizing and/or exoticizing of black women (LOL are those words?). Some think the video is fine, some rave about it, glad to see black women get some love, and other are not to happy about it at all.

For the most part I'm not really sure of what to make of the video. Everything about it--including the song--seems to over-the-top. But what's even funnier is that when I saw this video, I immediately though of Monsieur Nov and the idea of presenting how to the world your love for black women.

Black women are continually getting the short end of the stick, constantly being told we're ugly and not marriage material. We're too dark, we're too loud, we're too fat, we're too stupid, blah, blah, blah. It can be pretty damaging to one's self esteem. So it gives you a moment of glee when we hear someone shouting on the rooftops about how beautiful and sexy and intelligent we are. It's not that big of a deal when it's coming out of the mouths of black men. It's a much trickier case when it's coming out to mouths of non-black men.

Interracial dating will always be a hot topic, especially when it comes in the media. Despite the fact that interracial marriage is growing, people are still up in arms over it. So it's much more difficult for non-black men to discuss their feelings for black women without being labeled words like "fetish" or even "racists" coming into the mix. After all it's usually white women that are put on a pedestal, not us. I couldn't find any interviews from the group concerning why they made this video, so everything here and in the blogosphere is speculation. On the one hand, the members of the group could genuinely have an interest in black women and this is their way of complimenting us.

However, even if this is supposed to be a compliment or a declaration about our awesome there are some massive flaws here. The band members don't appear in the video at all and the video seems much more focused on the white woman then the black one. Chester French doesn't seem to have too many official videos so it's hard to say if they will make more with black women in them. So it's unclear if they are sincere in their feelings about black women. The group has worked with several hip hop artist like Talib Kweli and Pharrell Williams, so it's pretty easy to assume that their "Black Girls" song is associated with that. And hey, Interracial dating is still a very hot topic, and perhaps this video was a smart way to for Chester French to get a bit more exposure. But again the band members themselves haven't discussed the video so everything is just speculation.

This is what leads me to Mr. Nov. Because what he does is a prime example of showing without telling. The majority of Monsieur. Nov's female video leads have been black women in different shades, with different hairstyles, and different story lines. I don't need for him to make a song about dating black women or wear a silly, "Black girls are hot!" shirt because he does a damn good job of showing us that he does have an interest in black women. Whereas the Chest French video is only giving us a black woman in a more sexual manner, we see Monsieur Nov flirting with them, loving them, arguing with them, etc. He's having real relationships with them. The chemistry between him and the women that he chooses for the videos always feels genuine; the guy clearly likes black women and doesn't have to speak of word of it.

Let's take a look at this video for "Tous Les Jours Tour Les Soirs." I choose this video because it's this is probably Monsieur Nov's sexiest video that features a black woman and the Chester French video is definitely a "sexy" video:



There are key differences in this video compared to Chester French:

1) Monsieur Nov is in the video with this young lady. Yes he does sing to the camera, but there are shots of him getting intimate with her (LOL but not to much...we don't need to see them buck ass naked to know what's about to happen).

2) The four years I spent learning French in high school has gone down the drain, but I doubt Monsieur Nov is actually singing about the race of this young lady despite his attraction to her.

3) He doesn't need to because he made this video:



And this one:




And his most recent one:




I'm sure Monsieur Nov was also met with criticism when he made his first video with a black women. Like Chester French, he has ties to "black culture"--in this case by being an R&B artist--and I'm sure people just figured that one black chick was just to gain a minor audience of black folks to get into his music. However the fact that he continued to use black women--again different types of black women and different types of relationships to them--probably eased the minds of his followers.  He doesn't need to beat us over the head with lyrics like "I’ve got a thing for black girls" and "I keep on ballin’ hard for black girls" (seriously those are lyrics in the Chester French song) because he's already shown us. This wasn't a matter of mere fetish, he genuinely sees black women as both attractive and viable women to have relationships with.

So Monsieur Nov, I appreciated your videos and hope you continues doing what you're doing. And release some music in the states dammit, LOL! Okay okay, I'll just learn French. :)

As for Chester French...well maybe I'm being too hard on them? As I said, they haven't released too many videos yet so we don't know how they'll treat black women going forward. Let's just hope that if they do decide to use more black women that's it's less over-the-top.

17 comments:

  1. Yes, Monsieur Nov is amazing. Just knowing he is out there being so talented and so open about his love for BW makes me smile sometimes.

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  2. I've been listening to Mr. Nov's music for a few years and I always liked his voice and his music videos. I saw him during a showcase in Lyon where i live and it was so fun.

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  3. I'm just learning about Monsieur Nov from the BN blog. Dude can really relax your nerves with his smooth singing.

    With some Asian men like him, you just pretty much know what they may like. He has been in videos with different races of women,but he has done the majority of them with Black women. I'm not trying to read into a lie,but it seems that he has found his comfort zone doing videos with them. Maybe because it's the style of music he does and possibly what his personal life may consist of.

    Recently, you may have heard about Ted Nugent and his racist rants about Obama. My mom was telling me way before he did what he did, she always felt that he was racist when he was with Led Zepplin. When I asked her why, she just said " she had a feeling..especially being affiliated with the GOP and especially not having associations and being around black people. I've noticed that. What some critics don't get is how you do things may say a lot about you an far as Monsieur Nov, maybe those Black women he has in his videos say a lot of who he is.I don't think that he is putting in Black women because he is trying to bring in more Black woman as well. People ike him, Rin, Se7en, or Robin Thicke are examples of non-Black men, who are in it because of who they are.

    That is what some of their non-Black critics don't get. You can try to "homogenize" them all they want but whatever is in their heart, they eventually will follow it someway or another. It was said that Robert Deniro got mad at a friend of his for setting him up with a White woman. Didn't know how true. at I guess that friend didn't know his taste in women.

    Though I'm not a follower of Kpop, I was looking at a section on allkpop.com ab out them talking about what Kpop star would the characters of the Avengers( if you haven't you are in for a major treat). One thing I've notices about the whole thing was one 1) Most of the fans on there barely made a mention about Nick Fury 2) the ones that did seem to be in quagmire about him being Black or that Teddy Riley being suggest( I admit that one myself. I would have thought of other Black ones) 3) That he should be Korean.

    I remembered reading my brother's Avengers book as a child. I remembered being White and there Black. There were people who couldn' t accept him being Black. I'm old school, so I wouldn't expect some those fans to know a lot about him,but if they have been long time fans of the Avengers then they should know better. That's ok, ol Sammy and company end up making close to a worldwide record of 600mil dollars over 200 in the states and have broken the records of Harry Potter and the Titanic. One thing I've noticed about people seeing the Avengers. A diverse range of them went to see it and with the leader in the pack being Black(especially Sam. love his acting), there were many of us who may have been more interested in seeing the movie. That is what true internationalism is all about.

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  4. I LOVE Monsieur Nov's videos. They definitely say a lot about his love for Black women. Chester French's video is just a little awkward because a White woman is singing the song. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, but I feel like Chester French is beating their listeners over the head with the lyrics, since every other phrase is "I've got a thing for Black girls" lol. Just sayin.

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  5. Well, I just think that Chester French want some attention with this MV showing lesbian love AND lyrics about how attractive we are. Why didn't they do a simple MV potraying a relationship? It's all about being provocative and sexual (the video), just like Katty Perry with her "I kissed a girl I liked it". The louder, the less genuine. Nothing sincere or real. I agree with you and those who are skeptical.

    Also...regarding Monsieur Nov's new MV (Interdite), I watched a while ago and focused on the lyrics. He basically says that he can't be with her, that his culture, family, etc reject her or will be difficult for her in the long term. The woman also reject him, probably for the same reasons (I don't know), she's reluctant and don't want to give in. Who knows, maybe these lyrics are inspired of his experience or someone he knows.

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  6. Oh, I forgot to say that in the lyrics, he says he's so eager to make it work and be with her, and the chorus explains why she's "forbidden" to him (because of the consequences/circumstances). He really wants it to work but the girl is reluctant and he admits in the chorus that the situation is really difficult for her. My first post was misleading, sorry!

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  7. Wait...I'm reading the lyrics again and now I think that she's the one who has this cultural barrier, not him, which explains why she rejects him because she doesn't want her background to be a burden for him in the long term, and why he keeps trying to convince her to give it a try.

    I'm sorry for spamming!! lol :/ I was trying to figure it out again after my first post.

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    1. "The louder, the less genuine. "

      GREAT point.

      Having read the (LOL Google translation) lyrics to Interdite, I think it makes an even stronger point about Monsieur Nov's preference for black women being sincere. He's not naive about interracial dating and also doesn't seem afraid to take it on. I know he's done some interviews, but my French is so sad, LOL I'm curious to know if he's been asked about it.

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    2. I didn't read anything about his preference for black women for his MVs in his interviews but who knows, I didn't read them all.

      Some info for you: He's Vietnamese, ~26yo, he casts people on facebook for his MVs (yes he did cast fans sometimes! He says it's cheaper - he's indie hey- and FB is a friendly way to make announcements, he usually replies to e-mails too), some international fans came in his biggest concert last year and when he was asked about doing a live tour, he said he might want to try Vietnam and Japan (he said they like French music) only after getting more popular here (all areas in France). He was also asked who he would like to collaborate with, and he said Dr Dre, Timbaland, Pharrell or Raphael Saadiq but it's a dream for him. Monsieur Nov still struggles with radios...he said that the most popular ones don't want to air his music because he's not new and does his own thing, though other radios have no problem with it. Don't know if he had issues about being Asian, he never talked about that and I assume he didn't (Imao). At least his fanbase is growing, and his MVs air on TV.

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    1. Dammit, was in the middle of replying when my power went out. >:(

      LOL Tous le Jours, Tous le Soir, yeah my suspicions of that song being baby-making music have been confirmed! Although what we're reading for his lyrics are rough translations, I get the sense that he is a pretty good song writer and doesn't need to mention "girls with tans" like Chester French.

      Hadn't seen him this performance of Tous le Jours, Tous le Soir. Hot stuff!

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  9. I just got onto Monsieur Nov and boy am I glad that I understand French for the most part plus the fact that he is some serious sexy eye candy and talented to boot, just the way I like them.
    I like every thing about Nov, he is very talented and I really appreciate the different ladies that he uses in his videos. I'm not saying that every video has to have a black female in it but at least have a real life account of woman of color which he does perfectly so Merci Monsiuer Nov for having an appreciation of all women of color.

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    1. Monsieur Nov in general seems to surround himself with people of color. LOL of course I'm solely basing this off the videos and other random interviews/recording session type videos and he seems to hang out with all kinds of people. "BCJC" is one of the videos he made where he doesn't seem to have a particular "love interest" character. It's a party scene and the party looks like it has a pretty fair mix of blacks, whites, and Asians. I'm assuming he's grew up in a pretty diverse environment and likes to display that in his videos too.

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  10. Wow, no idea this guy even existed until I saw this post. :)

    Thanks for sharing~ I think Monsieur Nov might have a new fan. :P

    - Esther
    http://roseywinterrose.blogspot.com

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  11. I have been a fan of his for awhile now. I love, appreciate, and respect Monsieur Nov!!!!. I am still fuming over last weeks ANTM fiasco with Nicholas Tse. Damn him!!! But Monsieur is one of the true artists that goes against the status quo. His singing is so smooth and melodic.

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  12. There is actually a new video and song by him called "Calme toi d'abord" which means "Calme Down First" and his girlfriend is also black. The video is really cute, especially the end, well minus the girl in the closet, but I actually don't think he did anything with her, he just needed a girl's clothes to throw around the house... I'm giving away the story line!! Sorry, GO WATCH THE VIDEO! You'll love it.

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  13. Monseiur Nov's wife is black IN REAL LIFE. He's not a perpetrator like some others who feature black girls in their videos but would never date them in real life *cough JT cough* HOORAY!

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