Le Feu dans le Ghetto

Timide et Sans Complexe

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Le Feu dans le Ghetto Review

by Vincent Latz

Released in 1993, this sophomore effort from the Timide et Sans Complexe crew (TSC for short) contains only seven tracks, including two remixes from one of their first album highlights. However, rarely has so much energy ever radiated this far in French rap music. Everything in here is powerful: lyrics, production, and voices. Many important subjects are treated, from a dog's life in the suburbs, racial prejudice in everyday life, lack of colored people on TV and in movies, to the awareness of the whole world going crazy. In that sense, French hip-hop has a lot in common with the U.S. rap scene, sharing subjects of social commentary. Moreover, TSC has developed some production skills comparable to the best U.S. producers. The sound proves to be closer to the American style than the French one. The richness of samples and loops, the percussive basslines, and the well constructed tracks ground this EP in the evolution of rap music we saw in the Golden Age. Doudou Masta, J.O.E.L., and Hakim all have an impressive flow, and combined with conscious lyrics, they're some of the best MCs France ever produced. They are even more passionate in this release than in their first album, spreading their lucidity with such intensity either in a ragamuffin or in a pure rap style. Add two of the best French producers of that era to the mix (Jimmy Jay and Deenasty) and you get a very well produced EP that could have seen hardcore listeners from the Five Boroughs nodding their heads to this essential step in French rap.

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