You guys, after reading this Jezebel post about French rapper Diam’s conversion to Islam, I am LOSING IT over this girl:
I’m seriously, this is close to the Platonic Form of how I like flow to be. It’s gorgeous. I have no idea what she’s saying, and for once in my life, I could not care less. As I’ve written before, my love for hip-hop is hugely influenced by my experience with high school policy debate. I like flow fast, and full of bravado. But most of all, I need my flow to be smooth. You can’t hear the breath pauses in Diam’s voice. She’s going fairly fast. The phrases aren’t chopped up. Just gorgeous. I realize this is a prejudice, born out of debate (and yeah, it’s called flowing there too) where the ratings you got for your speeches declined the choppier and breathier you sounded (content counted too, of course). But I can’t get beyond it in hip-hop. It’s a condition of how I listen. Here’s more:
I ended up talking to DJ Stylus, rapidly becoming this blog’s Official Hip-Hop Adviser, about this a little bit, but I think French is particularly conducive to strong flow. Something about the rolled “r”s, and the words that end in vowels. He was kind enough to point me in the direction of 20syl, who is totally incredible too, if a little more laid-back and jazzy sounding than Diam’s.
And Stylus has more to say about the experience of hip-hop overseas here. (Update: And Stylus has more to say, and more video in comments.) I love, love falling down rabbit holes like this, and finding all this treasure I never knew was there. If you’ve got more, send it in my direction, please.