Nearly 50 years after the beginnings of hip-hop, artists far from the Bronx have combined bits and rhymes in a way no innovator could ever have predicted, with new sequences in every corner of the globe. Yet the most enthusiastic scholars of form may not be aware that the latest mutations are occurring just a few hundred miles north of the blocks. DJ Cool Hark.
Quebec hip-hop, or What a rap, Has become an influential force in the lively music scene in the French-speaking Canadian province. When homegrown rappers imitated their heroes more in America and France, the artists liked Dramatic, Corius, And Fookie Now a word and style brandish that reflects their culture, Canadians know from the use of linguistic mix-mash from the influence of the African and Caribbean communities in the province frenglish.
Since 2003, Discus has been a key driver of the 7ième Ciel – which translates to the 7th Heavenly Record in English – What a rapIts rise. We spoke with founder Steve Jolin to find out how the Francophone hip-hop in Quebec came of age and why it’s catching up with an audience that doesn’t know Celine From Poutine.
The beginning of the answer
While Francophone rappers have had some local success mimicking the style of their foreign counterparts, it was not until the 2000s that the term became a true Quebecos term. “There weren’t many rappers who used Quebec slang or had Quebec identity,” Jolin said. “Most will rap in French accents because our influence is coming from France.”
With Dual, Quebec’s first platinum-selling hip-hop act, quoted by Jolene Without pressure And Evan Kreva Those who paved the way as MC What a rap At the turn of the century. “This is where the hip-hop scene started because people were saying, ‘Hey, we can rap like this – that’s it. Us, ”He said.
Around the same time, Jolene was going under her own rap career moniker Anodjay. But being in the small town of Rouen-Naranda, away from the cities of Montreal and Quebec, he was an outsider in the city’s underground hip-hop scene. “There I was, in the woods, saying, ‘I’m here, I exist, I’m a rapper too!'” Jolene smiled. “Creating credit was hard, but I’m having a hard time.”
Associated with a small distributor, he founded the 7ième Ciel, his date of birth was 7/7/1977. The label’s first release was Anodajay’s first 2003 album, Premier Seventh, And he followed it The answer Three years later. Although 7ième Ciel was still a one-artist label, Jolin began enlisting help for promotion and radio, and a more professional operation emerged. “This is where I decided to make a living out of it,” he says.
Photo by Steve Jolin, Sandra Raymond
Let’s climb What a rap
Evolution of 7ième Ciel from one-MC label What a rap The powerhouse began when Jolene met her fellow descendants Samian, A member of Abitibiwinni First Nation who raped in both French and Algonquin. Speed was created with his debut in 2007, In front of yourself, Continues when the roster of 7ième Ciel is expanded to include two Montreal. His third signature was Corius, who rose to fame as an online battle champion. The latter was dramatic, one of the founders of the respected group Mujion, For Jolene, the new additions proved “We weren’t just a North-North label who was interested in North-North artists.”
At the same time, Jolene was and is “very, very selective” about the work of the 7ième Ciel. “A lot of labels are signed by a lot of artists to create catalogs but that’s not my thing,” he says. “I always have to feel the music and it has to be good for the culture.”
That was his mentality when he signed Manu Military, An artist whose politically and socially charged tracks and videos have garnered controversy, critical acclaim for his 2013 LP The tide of people, Quebec’s annual music award, the hip-hop album of the year at the ADISQ Awards. With over 25,000 copies sold, despite the lack of radio support, Jolin said the military’s album helped change the resistance to indigenous hip-hop in the province’s mainstream music.
“We can sell shows in many cities in Quebec,” says Jolin. “People knew about rappers and songs and we were selling some albums even though we didn’t have mainstream radio. There was a small community that grew up there. I knew it would close at some point because every album we made was always good: the producers were good, the rappers were good, and the identity was getting where needed.
Success at home and buzz abroad
Now, finally, What a rap Incidentally Jolene knew it could happen. “I’ve been at art meetings for years, saying,‘ Hip-hop is coming, ’” he said, laughing. “People were, ‘Yes, yes,’ but I really believe that our artists – and not just my artists – are the biggest stars in Quebec right now.”
Once externally, the 7ième Ciel is now a pace-setter as North America’s largest francophone rap label, and he doesn’t want to compete with others by signing anyone and everyone. “Labels that were always in rock and grunge music and those, now they’re trying to get their hip-hop sub-labels and sign artists,” he says. “I go organic and let things flow. You have to be selective and work with what you get. ”
It is paying outside of French Canada, as evidenced by the upward trajectory of the young action ward like Fuki and Anglophone Montreal. Jack Zoya, As well as the continued preeminence of the 7ième Ciel vets like Koriass and wildly creative Alaclair Ensemble. Even New York Times Has noticed its growing cultural impact What a rap And a lot is rising frenglish They
“When we do shows with the biggest superstars in France and Belgium, they tell us, live, they’re watching what we’re doing. We’re becoming a big influence for them because we’re so close to the United States and we have a word here that they don’t necessarily “We’re proud of it. It’s always fun to see people outside of Quebec.”
– Jason Anderson