European Hip Hop Tour #5: France

mc-solaar-french-hip-hop

We’re in France for our next stop in the Sampleface European Hip Hop Tour.

Country: France

Population: (2012 estimate) 65,350,000

Capital: Paris

Currency: Euro (€)

Old places of interest

Bonjour! We have found ourselves in France, possibly one of the main hotbeds of hip hop outside the US and UK. The birth of hip hop in France is said to derive from the booming economy after World War II. Stability in increasing immigrant numbers was needed as more and more were looking to fill the vacancies needed. L’Office national d’immigration (ONI) was formed to supervise the immigration of new workers in 1945 but the Africans that arrived weren’t treated as fairly as their Caribbean counterparts due to citizenship, thus spawning the first inspirations for the initial hip hop movement. Much like in the US with the socio/economic troubles during the 20s through to the 70s and beyond between black people and white people, there was a struggle here also. But we’re not here to give you a history lesson, onto the hip hop sights!

Their first hip hop star was MC Solaar, a Senegalese-born artist. Known for his complex lyricism and word play, lyricism, he was signed to London acid jazz label Talkin’ Loud and recorded with British group Urban Species and the late Guru, member of the acclaimed New York duo Gang Starr. More artists began to emerge in the 80s in the forms of artists like Dee Nasty and Doc Gyneco, immersing themselves in the cultures of American hip hop and some of their respective African roots (Doc Gyneco is of Guadeloupean origin).