French Hip Hop

Rhyme Traveler 4

The Voyage of Verse

Ou est l’musique Hip Hop

While I was in Germany I was astonished one day as I learned about a group by the name of Supreme NTM, from Paris, France.  The song that I heard was “Ma Benz” and it was so new and fresh to me because it combined reggae with rap and the music production was very East Coast.   The group consisted of Kool Shen and Joey Starr that eventually formed their own solo careers after the group split up.  They were amongst the pioneering artists in the French Hip Hop scene along with MC Solaar, Arsenik, and Kcarrab Amabo.

If I’m not mistaken France has the 2nd largest urban music market outside of the US, and they offer a large variety of music.  Ranging from French language reggae, rap, soul, and r& b any fan of French Hip Hop has a long list of artists that they can go through.  I can recall watching Satellite TV overseas and finding that there was enough music and artists to fill continuously play throughout the day.

I also have friends and collabarators in Belgium that introduced me to even more French Hip Hop and really there are so many artists to flip through.  Saian Supa Crew, Oxmo Puccino, Ol Kainry, Allianz Ethnik, and the list goes on and on.   The French speaking Hip Hop community isn’t just limited to France and Europe, also Haiti, Guadalupe, French Guyana, Canada, and many countries in Africa.  Wycleff is known for rapping in Creole, the song Sang Fezi is a perfect example of this.

What I have always enjoyed about French music are the words that they use when they write many of their songs.   For example the R & B group Les Nubians is all time favorite of mine and their songs are very prolific, saturated in deep meaning.  If one was to translate their lyrics into English you would see what I am talking about.  For example in a song they sing called Makeda they speak of their ancient African ancestry and cultural pride the song is very poetic in how this is displayed.  A very beautiful song indeed, other artist like Blacko, Sir Samuel, and the list goes write music about freedom, social issues, and love.


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