TTC

Bâtards Sensibles

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After America, France has the world's biggest hip-hop market, rabidly consuming both the hip-hop mainstream and underground coming from American shores. However, only a scant few French rappers have made in-roads away from their homeland. MC Solaar did prove that rhyming in French could produce a flow far smoother than the Anglo-languages. But his stance was still strictly in the American footprints. Some French hip-hop producers and DJs gained traction, but mostly as a subset of the electronica scene, where acts like Kid Loco and Motorbass thrived through the '90s. But with the heightened profile of left-field hip-hop, driven greatly by U.K. labels like Big Dada and Lex, it was only a matter of time before the French made an entry into the no-limits world of indie hip-hop. Assuming you learned nothing in high-school French, you won't understand word one of Batard Sensibles' sophomore album. But you don't need a translator to tell that these three MCs, along with DJ Orgasmic are looking to wave it in the air and shake it around. And you also don't need a French-English dictionary to tell that these three rappers can sling rhymes at an amazing rate with utter ease, perhaps a byproduct of the French language and its liquid flow. Dense analog synths and rugged 808 beats reference the good-times party vibe of '80s rap, although many of these tracks are digitally fractured to give things an updated feel. They are also not afraid to up the tempo to pure party jam velocity, shouting down "Girlfriend" in a manner that implies a drunken francophone version of the Beastie Boys "Girls" (although again, they could be singing about dishwasher detergent for all we know). One thing is for certain, only a country that embraces the comedy of Jerry Lewis could produce a hip-hop record this spastic. However, the rest of the hip-hop world might have finally gotten skewed enough to enjoy it just the same.

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