The Vibrant Hip Hop Scene Of Paris

Submitted by: Rita Borges

The last thing that would enter a North American or a British traveler s mind when it comes to Paris is hip hop. In fact, most visitors to France or its capital Paris are unaware that this French musical style is considered to be the most happening music, second only to America’s musical culture. Even this assumption could be argued, for French artists derive their inspiration from a completely different set of societal and cultural experience than would their North American counterparts.

Hip Hop in France vs Elsewhere

In Paris, Whites, Blacks, Arabs, Chinese and other ethnicities all live together. And the ghetto-culture, which is prominent in the U.S., is difficult to be found. Of course, there are pockets of immigrant localities which are troubled and have high rates of unemployment and crime but then even those are very few. The French banlieues are analogous to the suburbs of North America. Parisian suburbs are diverse, and people from all ethnicities live together and study together. This cultural and ethnic assimilation shows in the music of Paris and also in Hip Hop. African beats are flawlessly assimilated into Arab instruments, and French is the language in which lyrics are written.


French Encouragement for Musicians

Initially, the French government and the highbrow members of the society tended to look down upon rap, scratching, and beatboxing, but things changed dramatically during the 90s. So far, there have been a couple of events at the Grand Palais even! Paris Hip-Hop Fortnight runs until the 5th of July and is sponsored by the national government and the town hall. In fact, Parisians take their music so seriously, that more than 300 artists take party at 18 to 20 different venues, and attracts thousands of people from all over Europe.

French Hip Hop ranges from the bass-heavy controversial NTM to the mellow musical sounds of MC Solaar, who raps about socially engaging topics. Traditionalists are not very happy at the growth of this culture in Paris, and wonder if the good old accordion would ever find its place back. That is a question one might ponder upon, when one looks at the French music charts. Most of the chart toppers are rappers, who use various mixing techniques to create some of the most evolved tracks that the world of Hip hop has ever seen. Visitors to Paris can easily find clubs, bars and discotheques that cater to this music listening crowd.

Paris and Its Surprises

Most people who come to Paris to experience the ‘good life’, or the experience of having lived in luxury Paris apartments at least for a fortnight end up discovering a really wild side to the city. Visitors who presume that Paris is all about couture, luxury, history and art are surprised to learn that the city can be wildly cosmopolitan and so ethnically diverse that it could give even the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S. a run for their money.

Rap and Hip Hop are here to stay in Paris, and many tourists visit Paris only for the purpose of discovering new music and meeting with artists, who seem to be more approachable than those you find in North America. Music tourism is one aspect of Paris that many Americans are yet to discover and explore. The surprises can be very pleasant and can get people to listen to newer forms of music and discover an entirely new version of Hip Hop.

About the Author: Paris Luxe is a New York City based boutique rental service specializing in upscale and luxury short term Parisian apartments. We are the ideal solution for those not yet ready to purchase a second home or join a luxury vacation club.


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