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Drismer and PCN: how to transform the trial?

Four months after the release of the viral title Freestyle Bintou, Drismer and PCN continue to occupy the news and make the buzz. Betting heavily on the entertainment aspect, the two Parisian rappers quickly understood the game of social networks and the media, transforming their early career into a permanent show. This ability to get people talking is an essential asset for starting a career, but definitely cannot form the basis of lasting success. To last, the group will have to prove that it can transform the essay artistically, and interest the public and professionals other than by looking for buzz.

The Drismer phenomenon and PCN: genesis and history

Contrary to what one might imagine, the story of the Drismer and PCN duo does not start in March 2022 with the publication of Freestyle Bintou. Already active within the group THE SN2, authors of two EPs (a Drismer solo, and a duet), the two rappers did not appear overnight. We also find from their beginnings characteristics of their current artistic production: a lot of second degree and self-mockery (“my car is a cube, everyone criticizes it but when I leave in the evening, everyone gets on board”), light and rhythmic sounds, and very assertive Afro influences.

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The web really discovers the duo Drismer x PCN with the viral “Ouh hi ouh ha ha”, an interpolation of a title excerpt from the soundtrack of the film Les Rugrats, released in 1998. With its catchy prod and catchy chorus, the Freestyle Bintou touches part of the public, and above all, provokes debate: stroke of genius or pure rage? Whatever the outcome of the discussions between Internet users, the essential is there: Drismer and PCN were at the center of attention for a few days. Proof that their proposal has gone beyond the simple framework of social networks, they even obtain an invitation to Planète Rap de Vegedream.

Maintain the buzz machine

From there, the machine is launched, and the news is linked to a rhythm of telenovelas. Drismer and PCN are making headlines in the rap media, with increasingly wacky extra-musical info: a signing with Sony “for unlimited PS5s”; a remix of Naps, then a first separation with a very scripted aspect, a little more than a month after the Bintou freestyle buzz. This is only the beginning: a few days later, Drismer announces that he stops the music, disgusted that “the Americans do not give up the rights” of the original title. A reversal of the situation the following week: the group reformed and released their first clip since signing with Sony.

So far, the duo’s story has been deliberately chaotic. Nobody is really fooled about their strategy, the goal of all these maneuvers being to maintain the buzz to stay in the hot news while waiting for the arrival of concrete artistic projects. The sequel is more interesting: while the figures for their latest clip do not take off, some Internet users accuse Sony of artificially pushing the views. After the Freestyle Bintou buzz, a potential bad buzz is on the horizon. The group’s reaction is smart, nipping the issue in the bud with a direct response from PCN on Twitter: “Phew, that’s why we didn’t want to sign at the base”.

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Whether it’s a pure outburst of honesty and spontaneity, or an in-house scripted strategy, the band positions itself against its record label (“good tomorrow morning we are summoned to Sony and I don’t think it’s for breakfast”). A simple but effective way to increase his sympathy rating, with an almost Manichean image: the two innocent rappers who are prevented from working in good conditions, facing a big and nasty major with bad intentions.

Strengths and limits of the duo

The staging of the conflict continues: the group announces for example that Sony had set a minimum of 10 million streams for the EP Sang 9, released on July 15, under penalty of breach of contract. Obviously, the results are far from the mark, and it is a new news that has just slipped into the thread of the rap media: a call for donations (during a fake press conference) to repay the advance of 60,000 euros received for this project. In the meantime, other news kept the buzz going: “Drismer announces that he will win New School”, “Drismer and PCN claim that they are the new NLP”, etc.

We are also entitled to a new little lesson in bad buzz management from Drismer: when a video of him working as a waiter circulates, his honest reaction (“I have to fill the fridge”) defuses any controversy, and makes him score a few more points of sympathy. Internet users finally show rather positive reactions to seeing a rapper who does not lie about his sources of income, smokes like any citizen, and seeks to get by with a real job.

This is both the strength and the limit of the Drismer / PCN duo. The two rappers have understood all the mechanics of social networks and rap media. In their communication, both bet on the very uninhibited aspect of their personality. Spontaneity is at the heart of their image, which is a big asset at a time when you have to know how to react quickly, quickly stifle potential elements of bad buzz, and make viral sequences grow.

From an artistic point of view, Drismer and PCN’s proposal is perfectly in line with their communication strategy. Their decomplexion resonates in the choice of productions and the construction of rather light titles, with in particular verses full of humor and self-mockery (“ one day I was on 3 girls, the 3 failed me ”). The codes of the new generation are totally mastered, with an excellent use of adlibs, gimmicks and onomatopoeias, catchy choruses, and a good balance between moments of rap and phases of pure atmosphere.

An artistic proposal stronger than it seems

Drismer and PCN have also proven with the EP Sang 9 that they are something more than a simple joke., and are able to offer more than the Freestyle Bintou or their fake press conferences suggest. The duo is as comfortable on sung titles (Sagacité) as nervous trap (Kanga Munoko) or danceable pieces (Makossa). This is the great paradox that surrounds their first months of career: locked in an image of public entertainers that they maintain and overplay, they put their artistic production, which is nevertheless honest, effective, and even original at times, in the background.

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However, to continue, the only entertainment on social networks is not a viable solution. To realize this, just take a look at the figures of Sang 9 or their various clips on Youtube: transforming the essay is difficult, especially when the audience has already typecast you. The group has all the qualities to convince the public, but must now make difficult choices. Persevering with the same strategy is a good way to continue to gain visibility and put your name in the mind of the public, but may not bear fruit in terms of sales. However, all it takes is the right song at the right time for the duo’s career to take off. It’s a risky approach, which can pay off if the stars align.

Another way exists: to refocus the group’s communication on the artistic aspect. It would not be a question of completely erasing the very sympathetic personalities of the two rappers, who remain an important asset, but of insisting on the music. This is a more difficult and time-consuming approach to implement, since it involves reorienting the group’s image. Success is subject to a solid artistic proposal, and above all to more patience than in the framework of the continuous buzz research strategy. Whatever Drismer and PCN choose over the next few months, their next adventure should no doubt be entertaining.

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