Stepping into a local rap environment with no prior knowledge of it whatsoever can be quite daunting. I remember a time when I was in a record shop in Paris and even though one of my favourite hip-hop albums EVAR is a French record (IAM’s L’ecole de Micro d’Argent), my limited familiarity with the French scene prohibited me from making a choice from the massive amount of acts, most of which I’d never even heard. Now there is help.
I feel confident in telling you that France as a nation has one of the most impressive rap catalogues in the world, and possibly the biggest outside of the US. It’s probably the biggest in Europe at least, followed by Germany. French rap has been thriving since the early 90s and as a former colonist France has a huge influx of immigrants who all share the French language. Different cultural backgrounds sharing a single language has proven itself a fertile soil for a diverse culture in which all can no less come together; Hip-Hop.
Growing up on a steady diet of American rap like I did, you might not have the slightest idea where to start. Luck for you French online rap magazine abcdrduson gives you a head start. They’ve compiled a list of the 100 classics of French rap. The article is written in French but you don’t have to necessarily be able to parler that language to appreciate beats and flow, and of course a huge zip containing all these songs has hit the web almost simultaneously. Peep the article here and a download link below.
DOWNLOAD: The 100 Greatest French Rap Songs