Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nouvelle génération du cool

No one that gets in my car can escape the dictatorship of foreign rap coming out of the speakers. Truth is, I have no interest in the ego-trip centered rap we hear on the radio, but if I can’t understand other languages, I’m good. However, there is rap I understand (and love) and that’s French rap.

French rap? oui.

You’d be surprised to hear that after the U.S, France is the 2nd country that consumes the most rap/hip-hop. You’ll probably also be shocked to hear that once upon a time, the Ministry of Culture led by Jack Lang subsidized the concert tours of rap group Suprême NTM (Kool Shen/JoeyStarr). Last year, television news shows discussed over and over the fact that philosophy students had quoted Orelsan and Booba in their BAC exams.

While the influence of American rap is unavoidable, the number of young artists belonging to la nouvelle génération is growing, and their projects get braver and more creative, this is especially fascinating since they’re usually done independently of record labels and free of charge to us.

For the release of their album Seine Zoo, S-crew created an app that sent fans through a scavenger hunt of sorts throughout main cities where coded stickers were placed. Once you unlocked all the members/animal totems on the app, a hidden song was available to you.

This year, Georgio is creating a mixtape of 8 songs with beats you get to vote on from Monday through Wednesday every week. On Friday, the song is released using the beat (out of three choices) that got the most votes, sent directly to the email you submitted. The following Monday a matching video clip comes out. At the end of the 8 weeks, the full mixtape entitled Nouveau Souffle will be posted on the website to download free of charge. This week, the tracks include the classic instru for Petit Frère by IAM.

If you wish to participate, while the website is in French, it is quite self explanatory, you can play all three beats, vote for one, and simply input your email and zip code. You may re-type the one suggested. Last week's song and video were already sent out, so you can see that here.

Both of Georgio's previous mixtapes are free to download on the site, and Soleil d'Hiver is available on spotify below:

(ps, chaque jour is my favorite)

For an overall intro to French rap, you can check out Le Gouffre, their compilation mixtape Marche Arrière features over 60 artists, from newer, young MCs to classic collectives like Scred Connection.