In a bid to capitalize on President Nicolas Sarkozy’s poor relations with racial minorities, French Socialist candidate François Hollande has apparently used Jay-Z and Kanye West’s song “N—as in Paris” in one of his campaign ads.
The campaign video shows Hollande campaigning in the outskirts of urban Paris, including the town of Creil, which seems to get a name-check in the song. The song appears on the rap superstars’ 2011 collaboration, Watch the Throne.
President Sarkozy, who came in second to Hollande in France’s recent elections and must face him in a runoff vote on May 6, has long had a poor relationship with the Parisian suburbs, home to a high percentage of the nation’s poor, minorities and immigrants. (As interior minister in 2005, Sarkozy famously threatened to “clean” one neighborhood of rabble with a high-pressure hose.) He also faces backlash from a recent video which appeared to show him removing his expensive wristwatch before shaking hands with voters.
Bruce Crumley, writing for TIME, says that Sarkozy’s position in the French election has been due to his own hubris:
Sarkozy has been criticized by opponents and even some allies for his sometimes brutal manner of pushing through decisions. When the results of these choices have proven counterproductive, Sarkozy has often changed course or backtracked — a habit that has generated complaints of short-sightedness and incoherence… This has left Sarkozy alone in the crosshairs of French voters who are weary of the sluggish economy, rising unemployment and harsh austerity measures to a debt crisis many critics say the President created himself during his five-year tenure.
Hollande’s camp did not respond to requests for comment on the ad by the time this article was published.