Better known as the well-regarded producer/engineer De La Fuentes within the French rap/hip-hop world, the Belgian artist Krisy put out an EP this year where he explored what he calls his hobby, or side-line passion, rhyming as an MC. Not all of it clicks with me, sometimes it’s just too poppy or overly sentimental (no surprise for an artist that has in the past apparently referred to himself as the ‘young Julio’ as in Iglesias and others have called a 'gentleman' rapper, using the English), but ‘Paradis d’amour,’ - produced by Freakey! - is great.
Both in terms of the music: in particular, that saturated, deep bassline sound on the hook and the kind of hysteric-sound-effect playing out in the background and its overall mood that feels very contemporary, but also echoes French-language popular music from the past. Say in the 60s when singers with serious reputations and standing would, on occasion, put out light-hearted songs to no apparent detriment to their careers. Notice then the classic bah-dah-dah riff around three minutes and the playful lyrics in this song:
My discovery of Krisy’s work came about after reading this list of the best French-language rap albums of 2017 - a list that covered releases up until that point when the article was published (in French). Here’s an interview, also in French, where Krisy speaks about the challenges linked to being a Belgian artist and why he doesn’t expect to make a career out of rapping, largely because of this, and so imagines that production will remain his focus.