The French hiphop scene has been very interesting and innovative since the early 90s. At that time there were artists like IAM, Supreme NTM or Lunatic which could cause furore worldwide, but what about French rap today? Here you have a list with the eight biggest rapper from France 2018.
PNL (Peace and Lovés) are brothers from Corbeil-Essonnes nearby Paris. Ademo (31) and N.O.S (28) started releasing their music back in 2014 with their debut Que la famille. Only two years and two albums later, they got a diamond award (> 500’000 sales) for their LP Dans la legende. PNL are something like the founder of French Cloud Rap and they are completely independent. All their projects appear on their own label QLF Records. The two were announced for the 2017 Coachella Festival, but due to visa issues, one of the Algerian-born French could not enter the United States and they had to cancel their appearance.
Their most successful song ist called DA and came out in 2016:
Jul from Marseille is one of the best-selling artists in whole France. His style is very unique and most of the time he’s using high-BPM beats. The 27 year old is well known for being an output machine, he has released eight albums and four free-projects in only three years! In total he sold over two million records, and his biggest project until now was the LP My World in 2015 with over 500’000 sales.
The earworm song Ma Jolie came out in 2017:
If it comes to rap skills the 27 year old Nekfeu is on of the best in France for sure. The leader of the well-known rap groups $-Crew and 1995 is rapping since 2007 and based in Paris. After eight years of MCing and much success with his two crews finally his long awaited debut album Feu appeared in 2015. He sold over 500’000 records and got one of the most famous artists in the French Rap scene.
Martin Eden is the intro of his masterpiece Feu:
In 2015 Niska released his first project Charo Life and got instant fame through the song Freestyle PSG (click here for the video). The Matuidi Charo dance movement from the video clip went viral and now there is even a celebration for it in the famous game Fifa. He was born in Évry nearby Paris and is only 23 years old. Niskas biggest success until now was the album Commando (> 200’000 sales) including the single Réseaux, which could collect almost 200’000’000 Youtube views in only five months.
The most viewed European rap video of the year 2017:
Lacrim is a 32 year old MC from Marseille, the second biggest city in France. He started doing music in 2009 but his fans had to wait until 2014, when he dropped his debut album Corleone. After two mixtapes in 2015 and an eight-month prison stay in 2016 he came out with his new album Force & Honneur, which was the biggest success of his career so far. He sold over 200’000 records and produced a selfmade movie (click here for the movie) showing his way to the prison and his way back to the top. Lacrim is signed at Def Jam but founded his own label „Plata o Plomo“ in early 2017. Due to features with Lil Durk and French Montana he was also able to make a name in the United States and do some advertising for the French rap scene there.
Gustavo Gaviera shows his raw style perfectly:
MHD is only 23 years old and already the founder of a whole rap genre. When he started doing his Afrotrap series on Youtube in 2015 nobody could expect what will happen. His debut album MHD came out one year later and sold over 200,000 times, almost every single song got a gold or even a platinum award. He uses African and Caribbean rhythms and mixes them up with nice melodies and good rapskills, so almost nobody finds something to hate about. The young rapper from Paris already had his first U.S. tour in 2017.
His most viewed song:
The 41 year old Booba is probably the greatest rapper Europe have ever seen. Together with Ali he formed the duo Lunatic from 1994 to 2002. Since then, he has released nine solo albums, sold over 1.75 million records in France alone and has always dominated the French rap scene like noone else. His biggest achievement was the LP Ouest Side in 2006 with over 300’000 sales. He’s originally from Senegal but was born and raised in Paris. He’s releasing his projects on his on label Tallac Records.
His biggest hit of the last years:
The last MC of our list is called Sofiane and comes straight out of the Paris ghettos. He’s 31 and in the hiphop scene for over ten years but he had to wait until last year to become known to a broad mass. He got a big hype in 2016 with his video series #JeSuisPasséChezSo and the whole French rap scene waited eagerly for his upcoming project (#JeSuisPasséChezSo) which finally came out in early 2017. Fianso, as he is also cald, sold more than 100,000 units and used the wave of success perfectly with the release of another album and a new freestyle format called Le Cercle (click here for all the episodes). Unfortunately, Sofiane had big problems with the police this year because he published the music video for the song Toka on Youtube (click here for the video). He has blocked a whole highway to film his video clip, and now he may have to go to jail. It would not be the first time
This was the fifth episode of the breaking trough video series:
What do you think about French rap? And which country would you like to see in the future?
Let us know and help us with a share!