(asked by Canubeatme from Glenrothes, UK)

Hi posting this thread about a track I heard in France Sept 08. It used the lyrics from Westlife’s Flying without Wings(You’ve got to fight for every dream). It is a hip hop track sung by a male (only French voice that I have found that sounds remotely close is Mc Solaar on one of his tracks). The line I have quoted is sung in the voice that is sampled in Dj Ironik-Stay with me!
Think I am going to need the help from someone from France that is in touch with the hip hop scene.

Yes, you will need help from someone that is in touch with the hip hop scene and that is not me, as I think hip hop basically sucks big time, especially in France.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally anti hip hop, I was actually a huge fan in the late 80′s, early 90′s and I still like bands like Public Enemy, Run DMC and De La Soul very much (as well as NWA and Ice T/Bodycount), there was even some decent French hip hop, that is NTM and Assassin (and also I Am and MC Solaar to a certain extent), but something went wrong in the 90′s, I don’t know what, and I haven’t heard decent hip hop in ages.
In the US, only Emimen does some decent things once in a while and in France, decent hip hop doesn’t seem to exist anymore…

Actually there’s a simple reason for that in France. When hip hop started to become popular, in the early 90′s, a lot of people from the poor suburbs saw it a way to climb the social ladder. And it was somewhat true. Problems started when some bands started to make some money, and started producing their friends from the ghetto. Their friends started to become famous and make money too, which was not a bad thing, but their friends were not as talented. And those friends started to produce their friends, and then the friends of their friends, and then the friends of the friends of their friends, and not everybody had talent, and soon the French scene was invaded but tons of groups that had no interest whatsoever, but people being people (i.e. most of them lack a sense of good taste), they were popular anyway…
Add on top of that the fact that they were getting their influence mostly from the US where mainstream hip hop had become terrible, and there you have a terrible terrible hip hop scene in France that doesn’t deserve attention anymore while it was so promising 20 years ago…

But back to your question…. Actually what was your question exactly? I’m not even sure. Are you asking about who was the guy singing that song you heard and that has samples from that other song you mention?
Well, as you said in the end, we’ll need someone that is interested in the French hip hop scene and you understood by now that it’s not me.

pixel A Question about French Hip Hop

2 Responses to “A Question about French Hip Hop”

  1. I agree with most of this (about both modern American and French rap) but there are son really talented current American rappers "Rap Pack" right now like Jay Z, TI, Lil Wayne and Eminem. On the whole, I think Nas is a little disingenuous but I love his "I Know I Can" song.

    There have been some good artists that have emerged from France recently…such as Saian Supa Crew (I love song "la preuve par trois") and Abd Al Malik. I know that Saian Supe Crew disbanded, but I am trying to think of good artists within the last 10 years.

    Rohff, on the other hand, is just a sad rip off of REALLY bad American rap.

    Also, you mentioned that you didn't like a lot of current American rap. Have you checked our a rapper named K'naan? He is a Somalian refugee (now Canadian). In some ways he reminds me of MIA because he talks about really serious subjects but his music still sounds so poetic and beautiful (Somalia's Pirates, the civil war in Somalia and he even makes fun of American "gangster rap" in "If Rap Gets Jealous"). His most famous song is "Waving Flag", which he sang at the UN Millennium Goals 10 year anniversary this year.

  2. True, in general I have found some of the emerging rock artists to be more creative (at this point) compared to the current rap artists. Arcade Fire, The Shins or Imogen Heap sound so unique and fresh. I also like Kings of Leon- my family is originally from Tennessee so I consider it a personal obligation to listen to any band from Nashville that is not country music. Coldplay, U2 and Radio Head are of course (as always) amazing! But, then again those aren't American bands- but they are very popular here!

    I just saw Paul McCartney in concert. Although it wasn't the same "religious experience" for me as for some of the people there, it was amazing! The fact that it was his first return to Shea Stadium (although now it is a new stadium called Citifield) since the Beatles played there in 1965 made it very special.

    I'm still on the fence about the Arctic Monkeys. They are not popular in America, but it seems like everyone in England loves them.

    I'm not a fan of all the bands that sound the same (Fall Out Boy, Sum 41 etc). I wouldn't call those rock..maybe pop-rock?

    Another sign of the "Return of Rock" is the very popular "Rock of Ages" Broadway show. I just saw it with some visiting family- we love the "Big Hair" 80s bands. I will say that is definitely portrayed each part of the "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll" adage.

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