January 04, 2022

Various Artists - Le Flow (1998)

Country: France
Language: French (Le Français)
Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B, Reggae
Label Number: 7243 8 45960 2 6

© 1998 Delabel
France's hip-hop scene grew throughout the 1990s to become second only to the U.S. in terms of music produced and albums purchased, yet while the French buy up American CDs, stateside French acts are virtually ignored. This is the second compilation released by Trace magazine and Ultra Records attempting to get the attention of an American audience. While the first edition of Le Flow featured the cream of France's underground rap acts, this version is subtitled The Definitive French Hip Hop Compilation. To the compilers of this album that clearly means groups and songs with the most crossover potential, resulting in a hit-and-miss collection. Many of the songs are tinged with a strong dancehall reggae or R&B flavor. The inclusion of remixes of hits from Les Nubians and Missy Elliott are unnecessary, and the preponderance of American artists shows a lack of faith in the French artists to do it right themselves. That is precisely the problem with this compilation, because French hip-hop has become an independent, self-supporting community, much less reliant on American rap than the scenes in Great Britain or Canada. While there are many misses, this compilation also contains some quality tracks, including "Undaground Connexion" by Supernatural and Rockin' Squat, and "La Saga" from IAM and the Sunz of Man. While this compilation contains solid collaborations between French and American artists, France's scene has much more to offer on its own. Le Flow is not a good introduction to that world.

tags: various artists, le flow, 1998, flac,


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