Résumé : This paper looks at the production and distribution of Zebda’s cultural identity, perceived as ‘alternative’ or ‘oppositional’ in French popular music. Using the pluridisciplinary method of Cultural Studies, we examine how artists, producers and media create discourses that attempt to unify a certain difference from the ‘mainstream’, while national and cultural conventions relativize this identity. Zebda’s commitment to republicanism is both promoted as ‘radical’ and in line with national traditions. The band’s hybrid music parallels the evolution of French identity towards multiculturalism, but remains bound by the concept of integration. Zebda’s commercial success since 1999 is also representative of the diversity of perception of cultural identities, at once mapped over the ‘mainstream’ and the ‘alternative’.