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Côte d’Ivoire: DJ Arafat, the king of the coupé-décalé, is dead

By Baudelaire Mieu in Abidjan
Posted on Monday, 12 August 2019 16:50

The emperor of coupé-décalé, DJ Arafat / Camille Millerand for GJA

The much-beloved artist who was the champion of the coupé-décalé sound has passed away.

Victim of a motorcycle accident on the night of Sunday 11 to Monday 12 August in Abidjan, the Ivorian artist Ange Didier Huon – alias DJ Arafat – died from his injuries in a clinic in Abidjan, according to several Ivorian official sources, including Maurice Bandaman, the Ivorian Minister of Culture.

The star of the “coupé-décalé” died on Monday, August 12 at the Polyclinique des Deux Plateaux in Abidjan. The artist died as a result of his injuries after a serious road accident that occurred during the night from Sunday to Monday.

His motorcycle crashed into a car driven by a Radio Côte d’Ivoire journalist. The singer, unconscious, was quickly taken into care and admitted to intensive care. Unfortunately, he did not survive.

“He was admitted to the emergency room in a vegetative state. He had a skull fracture and oedema,” a doctor from the institution told Jeune Afrique, on condition of anonymity. The medical teams tried to revive him, “in vain”.

Two Ivorian government ministers, who visited the artist’s bedside, confirmed the death of Jeune Afrique, as well as a senior official posted in Abidjan. “I’m at the clinic where DJ Arafat was admitted. I can confirm that the artist has passed away. I am with Minister of State Hamed Bakayoko to organize with the family,” said Maurice Bandaman, Ivorian Minister of Culture and Francophonie.

The information was also confirmed on the antennas of RTI, the Ivorian public channel, in its 1pm news bulletin.

In’salfo, the leader of the Magic System group, also went to the hospital.

The undisputed king of the “coupé-décalé”, DJ Arafat – whose real name is Ange Didier Huon – earned himself an international reputation and has established himself as the undisputed boss of the offbeat dance sound. He occasionally had a difficult reputation, because of recurring clashes with other coupé-décalé artists.

Born in 1986 in Yopougon, a town in western Abidjan, the artist liked to claim ever new nicknames, from “Commander Zabra” to “Yorobo” – more recently, he even introduced himself as “Leader of People’s China”.

Tragically ironic, his latest single – which beats records on YouTube with 4.5 million views since its release last May – is called “Moto-Moto”.

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