Music has the power to move us, heal us and inspire us.
“Vendeurs de Rêves” (Dream Sellers) is a song by Cédric Mateta, a rapper of Congolese origin better known by his stage name Keblack. The recently released single, featuring fellow musicians imparts a potent message. Delivered in one tone, it takes on a voice for the voiceless by responding and calling attention to stories of forced migration and the deadly journey taken by young African men and women. It recounts human lives occupied by “dream sellers” and the tragedies that overtake.
In minimal yet commanding lyrics, the song emphasizes on a story of “a sacred man” who unaware leaves his country “because of a dream he was sold,” only to be “stuck down by life”. This explicit undertaking, with phrases like “you were sold dreams,” “on this boat you lost a lot of friends,” “you are not deserving of this,” “you are the only thing we have left,” “you left with no idea”… and “dream” and “die” sang in alternate layers, attempts to wake up people to the plight of the common man confronted with the injustice of the world. Remarkably, the rallying cry and potent punch central to the current milieu renders assistance to the imagination to see human struggle from a sensitized and human viewpoint – thus, inspire to locate a collective moral compass.
Further, the song vividly brings out the ugly reality and consequences of deceitful dreams sold to desperate people – building castles in the sky. It is a reminder of the conditions that force the African man to migrate, who too often ends up in a far worse position in Europe or elsewhere than the life left behind. And though resilience may support through, often, migrants end up living a dislocated and broken life in their host country, “inhabiting rough places, selling illegal goods and exploited or forced to work in dangerous jobs or as prostitutes”
This striking visual with profound words over a catchy rhythm is more than just a music video – it deeply expresses human struggle, to reflect on.