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Napoleon Maddox, Sorg and Jowee Omicil pay tribute to Toussaint Louverture

At the crossroads of hip-hop, jazz and blues, American rapper Maddox explores the history of the Haitian general in a show soon to be presented in Paris. 

Napoleon Maddox, an American rapper who recently moved to France, has long wanted to pay tribute to Toussaint Louverture, a leading figure in the Haitian Revolution (1791-1802) and in the emancipation movements of colonies. Used to writing shows about freedom and civil rights, the artist inaugurated his creation in August 2021 at the Château de Joux in Franche-Comté, Toussaint Louverture’s last home and prison, with a particularly musical guest-list including his accomplice Sorg, but also of Haitian saxophonist Jowee Omicil and Malian artist Cheikh Tidiane Seck. As in his previous performances, Maddox presented historical figures in a contemporary context, encouraging the audience to see the relevance of these characters’ lives in the present.

The story of Toussaint is so meaningful to me,” he explains. “It’s a subject that’s also personal because I’ve always been interested in freedom fighters or pan-Africanism. So once I really understood all of that, it was a no-brainer for me.”

Jowee Omicil and Sorg are featured in the project’s new video “Louverture”, shot at the Château de Joux in Toussaint Louverture’s cell, and in the countryside of Doubs, France. The video comes as Maddox prepares to perform his show at the New Morning in Paris, soberly entitled “L’Ouverture de Toussaint” (“The opening of Toussaint”). Once again, the rapper will perform with Jowee Omicil, Sorg and Cheikh Tidiane Seck on Wednesday 23 February. 

Listen to “Louverture” in our Songs of the Week playlist on Spotify and Deezer.