Symphonic Hip Hop with Chilla, Bianca Costa, Davinhor… a seventh edition for women – Jeune Afrique
For the seventh consecutive year, the concert produced by Mouv’ radio took place in Paris, in the auditorium of the Maison de la radio, on 16 November. In the program, pieces by Soprano, Fianso, Chilla, Kalash or even Gazo, performed with the Orchester philarmonique de Radio France.
Presented by actor and director Jean-Pascal Zadi, this edition looks like an award ceremony: “You’re dressed like at the Césars”, says rapper Fianso to Jean-Pascal Zadi, in a suit and bow tie, in his dress rehearsal appearance. The artists follow each other to the rhythm of the calls from the public and the announcement of their name, each one goes there with his little word to thank the audience and the different bodies of the project.
The actor provides a binding to the disparate elements, which is deafened by the excitement of an audience who, if he remains seated as in any symphonic music performance, sings the words happily as in a rap concert.
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Difficult bet to find the balance between incarnations very of their texts by rappers and all the artists represented: the Orchester philarmonique de Radio France, conducted by Dylan Corlay, the gospel choir “Just another choir”, the chansigners – interpreters of the pieces sung in sign language – and the musical ensemble The Ice Kream, directed by Issam Krimi. Above all, the imposing Jean-Pascal Zadi – 1.93m – punctuates the entrances and exits, attends to the public and the artists, and himself hums French rap classics, from IAM to NTM by MC Solaar.
If the event was originally the first, a unique meeting between a symphony orchestra and artists from the hip-hop scene, now it is anchored in the French musical agenda, and the rappers strive to one by one exercise. “Artists adapt it, it becomes a place where they offer something special,” explains Issam Krimi, artistic director of the project. Rappers sometimes tell me that they don’t want to join right away, that they’re waiting for the right moment. »
Behind this project, keyboardist, pianist and composer Issam Krimi is a great rap lover. “The characteristic of this genre is the music of all music, to borrow from all styles. The founder of Hip Hop Symphonique launched the project in 2016, with the idea of bringing together several musical worlds. For in the first edition, the headliners were already there: MC Solaar, IAM and Youssoupha, among others.Since then, the event has attracted the most famous names from the French rap scene every year.
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To realize this event every year, the only film presentation which will be re-aired by Mouv’ and Canal+, Issam Krimi starts by studying the artists’ discography. He then consulted with them to select the pieces to be played and then orchestrated by the artistic director and the composer Camille Pépin. Rappers have to adjust to the changed song: “I take the time to show them how I renovated their house », explained the pianist. The personality of the artists plays a big role in the interpretation of the symphonic form. “Some will fully rehabilitate, others will stay in their swim lane. »
Rappers on the program
Chilla already walked on the stage of the auditorium of Radio France in 2019 for the fourth edition of the Hip Hop Symphonique, but this time, in a group that the rapper notably interpreted “Ahoo” and “Gangsta’s Paradise “, recognition of the Afro-American rapper Coolio who died in September, within the quintet composed of Bianca Costa, the Congolese Davinhor, Le Juiice and the Franco-Gabonese Vicky R. The five artists have found their himself in the documentary Queens, for the love of rap from Canal + in 2021. They also opened the concert with their title, “Ahoo”.
Five rappers for twelve rappers, a female presence important to Issam Krimi. “This is proof that we are starting to make room for female artists in French rap”, explains the pianist and composer of the Hip Hop Symphony. “In France, we really have a problem with the artistic freedom of women”. Female artists opened and closed the event, but most of the songs – twelve of the fourteen sung – were performed by men.
The event also gives pride of place to inclusivity, and subtly points the finger at racial discrimination in France. When Franck Gastambide – director of the series correct, devoted to French rap – burst onto the stage, furious at not being invited to the event, in a funny way, Jean-Pascal Zadi replied: “It’s crazy how white people try to take jokes from black people person . “
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Comorian-born rapper Soprano also paid a spirited tribute to the African continent, performing “Racine”. Focused on “Africa, [son] love”, the track from his latest album, star hunters, published in 2021, looking back at racism in the world, and especially in France: “In the land of human rights, equality / Another young black man in the land of television news. »
The concert was broadcast in December on Mouv’, and will be on January 11 in Canal+.