Reviews | Album
In April of 2019, the duo of Corbeil-Essonnes released one of the biggest albums of 2019. Let’s contemplate this project that’s now part of the legend. The two brothers, Ademo and N.O.S., from the Gagarin neighborhoods of Ivry-sur-Seine (94), have cooked up a real masterpiece that is still widely discussed to this day. Indeed, this January 13th 2020, the album was awarded a Diamond Single for the title “À l’Amoniaque” (having sold more than 50,000,000 copies). This is the third Diamond Single for this album after the lead single “Au DD” and “91’s”. The album had sold 113,000 copies in the first week of its release, making it one of the best starts of 2019.
• As usual, high qualities productions
First, this project is very rich thanks to the instrumentals. All of them are high qualities and we can only emphasize their diversity. For this fourth album, the two brothers invited a large number of producers. Nk.F & Joa (Trackbastardz) for instance, who produced eight of the 22 titles, including the excellent “Au DD” [refers to drug selling]. There’s also BBP who also produced eight songs. PNL, the masters of cloud rap in France, remained faithful to their previous albums while innovating in the choice of certain products. We still can find some pure PNL on many tracks. The usual fast-paced PNL at the beginning of the album on songs like “Blanka” or “Celsius”, and more smooth sounds toward the end of the album with “Frontières” [frontiers], or “Capuche”. Hearing more of that classic PNL sounds could not be more satisfactory but the novelties of this album are important and several titles stand out for their production. First, “Au DD”, the song that announced the album, marked the year with a beat made of a sample of a guitar with latino vibes that is both soothing and energetic. The two brothers offer us an interesting mix of guitars and voices in “À l’Amoniaque” [ammonia], “La Misère Est Si Belle” [Misery Is So Beautiful]. The funky instrument on “91’s”, the melancholic beat from “Deux frères” [two brothers] and the joyful dancehall title “Hasta la vista” are all proves that PNL took risks on this project beat-wise. In short, the production of “Deux frères” is perfect and is a good reason for you to be interested in the duo.
• A dark and melancholic lyrical universe
Ademo’s and N.O.S.’ texts constitute the second biggest selling point of this project. True to their motto QLF [Que La Famille, Family Only], there are no features on this project. We find the same themes that made them successful. Their love for their neighborhood and their close ones. The title “91’s” pays homage to the Essonne department where they grew up. We also have the eponymous title of the album, “Deux frères”, where the two artists reveal their brotherly love, without complexes and through striking images. We also find in this album the idea of a heart that is too dark and too cold. Indeed, the artists made themselves known through texts translating a disillusioned vision of life, where money doesn’t buy you happiness. THere are striking images on this project like “the void haunts me” (N.O.S.) or “demons give me alms” (Ademo) in “Coeur” [heart]. On a lighter note, the album seems to bring out a certain serenity and peaceful vision of life. There is a certain joy, although always accompanied by a dark side, when it comes to the successes that they have accumulated in recent years. However, the artists also seem tired of this life in the light and this career could perhaps be coming to an end.
• Marketing : another key of this success
Finally, what made this album so big in 2019 is also all the marketing that PNL put in place around the release of the project. You should know that a big mystery surrounds the two brothers. They never give an interview (except one for Fader in 2017) nor do they do features. Therefore, the slightest information released by the artists makes a lot of noise. So imagine when a live Youtube live started last april out of nowhere! The live lasted 24 hours and there was nothing to see but stars and comets passing by. But still, on average there were 100.000 people watching this live. When the live finished, a comet crashed into the Eiffel Tower and the music video for “Au DD” started. A video (probably one of the best of the year) where the two brothers are casually on top of the tower at night. They also announced the date of release of the album and the tracklist.
This communication, always as sharp, has contributed to making this project making a lot of noise. And, it would not be complete without mentioning the other marketing methods used by the brothers: a double edition of the CD (black / white) with an exclusive title for each, a giant poster on the building where they were born, a pop-up store in the heart of Paris and the deposit of mysterious rocks in several cities in France to announce their tour. Although not musical, these marketing strategies allowed the two brothers to distinct themselves on the French rap scene in recent years.
This album is a new treasure signed by PNL. Numbers don’t lie and this album sold more than 400,000 copies as of December 2019 (4th best-selling French album), thus contributing to Paris being considered the rap capital of the world in 2019.