Meaning of Clandestina by Lartiste & The Story Behind

The song “Clandestina” (Illegal) by a young French rap artist of Moroccan origin Youssef Akdim, known throughout the world under the pseudonym Lartiste, was recorded in early December 2016 and immediately took first place in the charts of various countries. The light motive, melodiousness and deep meaning of Clandestine’s song, embedded in the text, immediately captivated many listeners.

The story is told from the perspective of the protagonist, who met a visiting girl on the way, who found herself in a desperate situation. She is an illegal immigrant, she has no one who could help her in this situation, except for the main character, whom she begs to give her a helping hand: in a man, the girl sees a possible protector (the author of the text resorts to symbolism: a polite appeal to a man “caballero” in the Middle Ages, it was an appeal to a medieval knight in Spanish-speaking countries: subconsciously, the girl appeals to the nobility of a stranger, being absolutely defenseless in front of him) and hopes for his honesty and decency, in return promising to repay the same: she swears that she does not trade in the body, and even more so , soul, and he is the only one she needs and it is to him that she is ready to devote her whole life,

The man emotionally tells the audience the story of an accidental acquaintance with a young illegal woman: he, without expecting it, caught the girl with a glance: she seemed to stand out from the crowd, looking abandoned and lonely. He was attracted by the unearthly sadness that shone in the eyes of the lost illegal woman. The conversation that ensued, and soon the female revelations made the picture complete: the man found out that the girl had fled from her hometown (probably Mexican or Brazilian), in which she had seen everything: wars of warring factions, drug trafficking, death of people close to her. The desire to escape from the maddening cycle of troubles pushed her to a desperate step, and now, she tells the first stranger she met, who inspired her confidence (and obviously handsome as a man), her fate.

The hero tells the listeners the sad fate of the girl, who, in turn, told him over a glass of whiskey. A vivid and tragic story deeply shocked him: previously, a new acquaintance lived with her parents and brother in her hometown, however, gang warfare prevented their carefree life: both brother and father and mother were killed during another shootout near their house. The narrator managed to escape, but she was forced to flee from her pursuers in order to save the only thing she had left – her own life.

The desperate situation of the girl forced her to ask for help from the first person she met, relying on his mercy. The further fate of the heroes remains unknown.

The performer raises an important and relevant topic for Western countries today. On the one hand, there is a violated law, an undermined economy and an increase in crimes committed, on the other, a lot of those who, against their will, are forced to flee their native cities and countries in search of a new home and in the hope of help and sympathy from the local population.

In addition, the problem of interethnic relations in general is raised: the 2010s became terrible for many African American and Hispanic families, whose members became victims of police brutality and were killed by representatives of the law. The song emphasizes that, despite the outward observance of the law in the most democratic country, criminal prejudices are still alive, impunity of the highest power and the danger to which anyone who is objectionable to this power for any reason is exposed, be it citizenship, nation or social group.

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