Reviews | Album
The group released its third album on January the 3rd. This album starts 2020 very smoothly. The band is composed of 4 rappers (Tiakola, Bné, Djefii and Hk). They all come from “The 4000” at La Courneuve in Seine-Saint-Denis (93, north of Paris). They blew up in September 2017 with the single “O’Kartier c’est la Hess” [In the hood, it’s misery]. Since then, they have continued their musical journey until today where they deliver this new album which largely synthesizes what they can do best. Between trap, African music and tasty melody, let’s take a closer look to the album that marked the beginning of the year.
• African influences
Two days after the New Year Eve (and the multiple hangovers that resulted), I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this album. Indeed, the album is largely based on African sounds and Afro-trap (even downright zumba/dancehall) rhythms. We can mention the second title of the album “Dans Le Block” [in the hood], and its sharp and catchy melody, or the very good “Piège” [trap], with clearly African influences. 4Keus proves here again that they master this register to perfection. These joyful and melancholic melodies, with strong African vibes, allow the group to stand out. These beats, already qualitative, are sublimated by the melodies sung by the artists. We can highlight the performance of the 4 MCs on “Piège”: the melodies sung by Bné and Tiakola are solid and worth the detour.
• Trappin’ in Paris’ Northside
Besides the Afro titles, this album is also full of solid trap songs. The band does good with this type of beat as well. We can cite the eponymous title of the project, “Vie d’Artiste” [life of an artist], which uses a trap instrumental with a classic theme of the genre: the streets life. On this track we find the two great influences of the group: afro music and dark trap. The themes tackled by the artists are often linked to street life, money and success; typical themes of this kind of rap. The artists offer us a fairly appreciable synthesis. To underline the great diversity of the album, one can quote the penultimate title, “Shoot”, which is suddenly much darker and hovering. The artists spread out there with sharper and vocoded flows.
• Qualities featurings
Finally let’s talk about the featurings. There are three of them in this project and they are like an icing on the cake. We can find on this project Niska, Leto and Siboy. The track with Niska, an artist that’s been on top of the rap game for a while now, entitled “MD” is very rich, between African melody, trumpet and dirty trap. The rappers’ performances are strong and Niska brings his melody and ad-libs with him. In a less festive atmosphere, the title with Leto immerses us in a darker, melancholy and soaring atmosphere. The third featuring, with Siboy (one of the few French rappers to cover his face), returns to a festive atmosphere but downright zumba this time. These three titles are rich and worth the listen. They also provide a quick overview of 4Keus’s capabilities and talent.
This album illuminated the beginning of 2020, especially for its diversity and its African influences. Through its positive and catchy melodies, it comes like a little ray of sunshine in the middle of winter. It is also a fine example of what Afro-Trap, a style born in France, at the crossroads of the American and African continents, can be. I can only advise you to go check this project and follow closely 4Keus, the 4 members are still very young but they are full of potential.