By complete coincidence, a week and a half ago, Pharrell Williams and Scott Vener asked me to record a 10 minute French Rap mix for their Beats1 radio show, OTHERtone. Their guest was going to be the artist JR, and I guess they wanted to highlight various aspects of French culture. I’m French Canadian, not exactly the same thing, but I know the music and I love an opportunity to do a themed mix, so I did it.
After last Friday’s events, I look at this mix in a whole different light, because it brings back memories of moments shared with my Parisian friends over the years. I tried to put together some highlights of the genre, ranging from 90s hardcore to the current wave.
There is a term that denotes all the countries that speak French: la francophonie. It’s more than language, it’s a shared culture. Canada and France are connected by la francophonie. So is Switzerland, the native country of my friend Kimou Meyer who created the artwork for this mix. I want to send a big « dédicace » (shout out) to Kimou, to my friends Matthieu Couturier and Guillaume Berg who helped me brush up on recent jams, and as with everything France-related and DJ-related, to the memory of DJ Mehdi. One love.
Busta Flex – Kick avec mes Nike
IAM & Fonky Family – Bad boys de Marseille
Beat 2 Boul – Dans la sono
Scred Konexion – Bouteille de gaz
Mafia k’1 Fry – Pour ceux
Lunatic – HLM3
113 – Les princes de la ville
Hamza – Minimum
PNL – J’suis PNL
Nekfeu – Reuf
Twinsmatic feat. Booba – A.T.R.