Dossier | Places
Today, Sevran is sort of a French Atlanta. Every month a new rapper is blowing up there and the city never has been so hype. Sevran is a city in the northern suburbs of Paris and has 50 000 inhabitants. It is located in Seine-Saint-Denis (93), one of the most dangerous department of the Parisian suburbs. Like the rapper Maes likes to say, “Sevran is the poorest city in the poorest State of France”. Still, it’s mostly one of the hottest city right now in the French rap scene. As you can understand, this is the city of all superlatives, let’s take a look at it!
• The beginning
Sevran mainly pop out on the French scene thanks to Kaaris around 2010. At that time, France was impressed by Chief Keef and all the Chicago’s drill scene. It was massive but no French rapper used to rap on this kind of beats. Kaaris was the first one. In 2013, he dropped “Or noir” [Black Gold] which was an immediate and massive success. Especially, songs like “Zoo”, “Dès le Départ” and “Bouchon de liège” which became huge hits. Kaaris is today still a huge artist on the French rap scene and an ambassador of Sevran. Because of him, the city is known for the street’s life and the drug sales. Like Kaaris said in the “Zoo” chorus, “Monkeys just got out of the zoo, armed as in the Clos era, death’s angel in the skin, Monkeys just got out of the zoo, Your corpse behind some studs, Blood is thicker than water”, I think you get it.
• A massive wave
Recently a lot of young rappers came out of Sevran. All with the same street’s background and using dark but powerful musical universes. Among all these news artists, we have to speak about some like Da Uzi, Maes, Kalash Criminel, Dabs and 13 Block. First, Maes is one of those with the hottest news. He grew up in the Beaudottes neighbourhoods. He just drop out a new album called “Les Derniers Salopards” [the last bastards] which come from his team name. He develops dark speeches about street life with magnificent sung melody. And he has the background to speak about it, since he got out of jail in 2017. There is also Da Uzi who grew up in the 3 Tours a neighborhood in Sevran which is known as the “Mexico Side”. He rap with fast and jerky flows. He is known as the “realest of the real” as he try to be the most honest, the trillest, by interpreting his texts with his guts. I could speak about Kalash’s metaphor or Dabs’ use of melody but it will be for another time.
• 13 Block, the most american French group
Also, I have to speak about 13 Block. The group, composed of Sidikeey, Stavo, Zefor and Zed, is often compare to the Migos. In fact, they are surely one of the most American French artist in terms of flows, looks and attitude. They speak about their own life, with honesty and using traditional rap codes: street life, money, policemen and suburbs daily routine. Last year they dropped their album “BLO”. It was a big success with some big hits like “Fuck le 17” [17 is the police phone number in France] or “Petit Coeur”. They also gave one of the craziest show of 2019 in Paris with an electrified public who lit smokes grenade inside of the most luxurious concert hall of Paris, among other things. In any case, it’s sure that we will hear more about 13 Block in the future.
To conclude, Sevran seems to be one of the greatest city in the rap scene. A few years after Kaaris’ huge success, 2019 was partly Sevran’s year. With a hustler rap, Sevran imposed his style so much that we compare this city to Atlanta in the US, which to some is the most important city in the American rap scene. In France, I think only the Evry-Grigny-Corbeil area in the South suburbs of Paris can compete.