Tuesday, January 12, 2010

French Hip Hop circ. NOW

I just got from back from Morocco and Spain, where in addition to getting some local North African music, I also got some French hip hop. None of it was amazing, as for the most part, the production is essentially aping US hip hop standard bearers. However, scattered here and there were some interesting tracks.

First off is an R&B track by Zaho. The song is one of those kiss-off-to-a-no-good-boyfriend tracks that girls have recorded for other girls since Edison cut his first disc. Zaho's persona reminds me a little bit of Pink back when Pink made R&B tracks; which is to say aggresive and tomboyish, whilst still being sexy. The vocal melody on the track reminds me of "Family Affair" by Mary J. Blige, although I can't quite say why.

Zaho was born in Algeria, but presently lives in Montreal. Thus, I feel guilty about putting a mp3 up without her permission. Being that I bought her song on a bootleg mix CD in a market stall in Marrakech, I would wager that it's hard enough for her to make money from music without my meddling. If any of my Montreal readers have any more info about her, please pass it on as I'd love to hear more of her stuff.

Booba is a French rapper who has done collabortations with A-list US stars like 50 cent and Akon. This song, with its dramatic organ lines, owes a debt to Hustlin' by Rick Ross. In this video Booba present himself as a "pimp of the industry" a la Fiddy. The video hos in French videos seem to be of a higher caliber than video hos in US videos. Look out for Booba's snuff smut collaboration with Gaspar Noe in 2012.

Funnily enough the video for "Evasion" by AP du 113 was shot in Marbella and Puerto Banus, right down the street from where I stayed in Costa Del Sol. Below is a picture I took while drinking coffee in Puerto Banus:

Later someone parked a Lamborghini right outside the restaurant we were eating at and passersby did everything BUT film a rap video next to it. The assorted rabble and hoi poloi ALMOST put me off my 30 dollar pork chop.

Why one would leave one's 200,000 dollar automobile in the street when one could park it in the safety of Plaza Antonio Banderas is simply beyond me...

The track reminds me of the production style that DJ Quik used on his recent "Blaqkout" LP with Kurupt, which is a high compliment. This is how rap is supposed to sound in 2010.

That said, the music I got most excited about on this trip was most definitely the stuff native to North Africa, specifically a track featuring Algerian Rai singer Cheb Bilal and Moroccan rappers Group Fnaire. Although both countries are predominently Berber, there have been border disputes and problems between the two countries ever since Algeria's independence from France. As far as I can tell, this collaboration was done partly to showcase commonalities between the two countries.

The video below features Group Fnaire hanging out at the border with Algeria and blasting the tune from a stereo and waving at Algerians on the other side of the border. Pretty cool.

Since people tend to get grouchy if I give them nothing to DL, here is a track by French rapper Sefyu. There are lots of gun noises in it. That combined with a slow BPM, heavy kicks, and fuzz bass tends to be an equation I can't resist.

If anyone has any questions about this stuff or wants to hear more, just drop me a comment... Remember, we're here to help, yo...

Sefyu- Au Pays Du Zahef


Blogger Simon said...

About Zaho. Don't have more info on HER but I can tell you the guy in her clip is Nicolas Archambault. He won the "So you think you can dance" finale in the canadian version of the show.

March 2, 2010 at 3:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger petergunn said...

ha ha thx!

and there i was thinking i had discovered some european r&b music!

March 19, 2010 at 1:50:00 AM PDT  
Blogger MackMcCoy said...

yo petey wheatstraw ... it's a little off-topic to the post but I had been meaning to tell you how 2 of my favorite bands discovered so far this year are both from Quebec, although completely different styles, one NWOBHM riffers and the other crafty power poppers:



maybe if they are both going to play in the same weekend I'll make thr trip up, hit 2 shows and buy tres tres disques!!


April 7, 2010 at 10:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger petergunn said...

thx man, will check them out 4 sure...

seems like they are both playing mostly out of town for the summer, too bad, best time to go to montreal!

April 9, 2010 at 9:38:00 PM PDT  

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