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Grand Corps Malade was the alias of French rapper and urban poet Fabien Marsaud, a product of Paris' tough northern suburb Seine-Saint-Denis born July 31, 1977. A diving accident suffered on his 20th birthday left Marsaud permanently disabled, inspiring the Grand Corps Malade moniker -- roughly translated, the name means "Large Sick Body" -- and forcing upon him the omnipresent crutch that would become a signature element of his stage act. Upon discovering "slam poetry" in 2003, Marsaud began writing autobiographical verse and entering readings at the Parisian bar Collectif 129H. A friend later suggested he set his poems to music, and in early 2006 he issued the first Grand Corps Malade LP, MIDI 20, a gritty collection decrying the racism, poverty, and isolation endemic throughout suburban Paris. The record proved an unexpected blockbuster, selling in excess of 300,000 copies in less than six months and vaulting Marsaud to national notoriety.