Meet France's Toughest Rappers (Part 2/3)




Uploaded by vice on Sep 28, 2012

Transcript:
[MUSIC PLAYING]

CLEO LE TAN: We're going to the flea market.

I cannot really remember the last time and I cannot really
remember why, but I have already been here.

I don't like the aesthetic of reggae.
I only like the sound of it.
That's not the way it looks.
This is the Thug Life t-shirt.
If anybody wants to give me a Christmas gift,
this is what I want--
Thug Life t-shirt.
"If you want to fuck me, you would need a whole army to
fuck me in the bum."
[SPEAKING FRENCH]
MALE SPEAKER 1: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: Oh, it's not about sex, this t-shirt, it's
about fucking people over.

During our little walk around the market, we heard that a
rapper called Morsay had a clothing store there.
Morsay is controversial even in the rap world and infamous
for raps about raping, torturing, and killing anybody
that makes fun of him.
So I was a bit nervous.

MORSAY: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

MORSAY: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
MORSAY: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: We just met this young gentleman in real life,
and he looks much less scary, much less mean, and more nice.
So should I buy this?
Maybe I'll buy this.
Maybe not.
I'll think about it.
The Pyramides Estate in Evry was one of the worst affected
by the riots, and it's still known for violence between
rival gangs.
We went there to meet the rapper Al-K-Pote who had a big
hit last year with a song called "Bande de Putains Sales
Putes," which roughly translates as, "bunch of
fucking dirty whores," which isn't very nice.
We're walking through Evry, and it's perfectly nice.
[SPEAKING FRENCH]

Al-K-Pote's there, apparently.
Do you think he's lying?
He's lying.
On our first visit to meet Al-K-Pote, not only did he not
show up, but a gang of teenagers threw a lightbulb at
our cameraman's head, which was also not very nice at all.
I didn't get a good vibe from this neighborhood in any way.
No one was nice.
Bullies, bullies, that's what they were.
Undeterred, we returned to the Pyramids a few days later for
a second attempt to meet him.
AL-K-POTE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: He took us to his studio, which was through a
dark alleyway under a bridge.
This made us all feel extremely awk.
SIKO: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

MALE SPEAKER 1: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

SIKO: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

MALE SPEAKER 2: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
AL-K-POTE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: Despite the odd beginnings of our encounter,
Al-K-Pote seemed a good person who was genuinely concerned
for the well being of the younger
members of his community.

To make things even more fun, I got a call from my friend
Vincent, who's one of Paris's most renowned raconteurs.
He told me that he had tickets to watch one of my favorite
singers, the French diva Arielle Dombasle, at the
Chatelet Theater.
[SPEAKING FRENCH]

This is a special music hall kind of show.
She's a very famous French singer, and I think she's in
her 60s, but she dresses like a Barbie doll.
She's very funny and very cool.
Even more fun was that she was going to be performing with a
guy called Mokobe, who was in one of France's most famous
rap groups, 113.
That's him!
MOKOBE: Do you speak French?
[SPEAKING FRENCH]
CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
I wonder when he'll come back.
Then we followed him to the stage, even though we weren't
allowed to.

MALE SPEAKER 3: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
MALE SPEAKER 3: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
CLEO LE TAN: And then we got caught, and they were furious
because she's really famous.
She's got loads of bodyguards and so the
theater is really strict.
But it was fun.
It was a fun moment.
So now we're just going to wait for Mokobe.

Here they come.
[SPEAKING FRENCH]

I was under the impression that Mokobe was trying to get
rid of us, but I really wanted to talk to him properly, so we
followed him anyway.
[SPEAKING FRENCH]
MOKOBE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

MOKOBE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

VINCENT DARRE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
MOKOBE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
VINCENT DARRE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
VINCENT DARRE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

ARIELLE DAMBOSLE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
MOKOBE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: I had a wonderful time at the opera, even if
Mokobe was a bit awk.
But when I told Byron about it, he seemed distinctly
unimpressed and told us, if you really want to know about
what's happening in the French rap scene, then come with me
now, because we're going back to Clichy to meet the future
players in underground French rap.
So we did.
OK, I'm going in there to find some young people.
[SPEAKING FRENCH]

BYRON: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: I think the responsible guy came in and
was like, you can't do this.
You had to ask me.
We're about to find out.
Oh, there's something going on.
There's something honestly going on.
[INTERPOSING VOICES]

CLEO LE TAN: Well, I wasn't expecting this at all.
We tried to smooth things out, but no one was
giving me any attention.
And then the youth center man tried to smash our camera.
MALE SPEAKER 4: [YELLING IN FRENCH]

CLEO LE TAN: After a while, everybody calmed down and made
up, and we finally got to meet the kids that Byron had been
raving about.
[RAPPING IN FRENCH]