French President Francois Hollande has hired a secret hip-hop expert as his chief speechwriter.
The Élysée Palace has hired Pierre-Yves Bocquet, who was recently revealed to be hip-hop writer Pierre Evil, to inject life into the president’s speeches.
In his day job, Bocquet has been working for the government since the 1990s. He is a graduate of the École Nationale d’Administration in Strasbourg, one of France’s top schools for civil servants.
However, Bocquet has been leading a double life as music critic Pierre Evil, who is the the author of 2005 book Gangsta-Rap, as well as the maker of a 2008 documentary on the cultural theory behind rap music and its relation to America’s black community.
His identity was so secret that even the editors who commissioned him didn’t know his real name.
“I remember a discrete man, very neat,” Cyril de Graeve who was his editor in chief for four years at Cronic’art magazine, told French newspaper Le Monde.”He came across as traditional, small glasses and a simple suit, that is the opposite of the articles he wrote for our pages. I did not know his real name, he worked for us on a voluntary basis, sporadically.”
Bocquet refused to comment on his moonlighting as a rap critic, according to Le Monde, but said: “The only person who writes speeches for François Hollande is François Hollande, my role is just to help him prepare.”
Public support for the French president has slumped in recent months, with one TNS Sofres opinion poll for Le Figaro Magazine rating his popularity as below 20 per cent.