Parallel universes don’t just exist at Marvel. French rap also has its alternate realities, in which events did not unfold in the same way. In another world, NTM did not decline after their fourth album; Booba and Kaaris never met at Orly; Vincent Cassel replaced his brother within Assassin; Diam’s never stopped rapping…
In the real world, Sinik and Diam’s came close to releasing a joint album. In 2007, the rapper from Les Ulis already explained to Parisian that the project had been canceled after the recording of five titles. If he was questioning disagreements between record companies at the time, he has since gone back and forth on the details of this story. His testimony at Interlude in 2019 is very clear on this subject: “*His team at the time simply blocked our joint album. They wanted to pull the album once made, creating real contract issues. I wanted to play it pro, not make too many waves, so as not to wet Mélanie because it wasn’t what she wanted, I knew she was waiting behind the album. They estimated that she sold a million albums and we only 300,000 and that basically it was she who was doing us a favor rather than us. They didn’t want to understand that it was a project we had been talking about since we were 19, when I was still in prison. It was important to her and me, but they only saw business***.”**
The business therefore nipped this project in the bud, which would certainly have been an event: Sinik may have sold “only” 300,000 albums at the time, but he was one of the biggest stars of French raps. Above all, his various collaborations with Diam’s worked very well, the chemistry between the two artists going much further than the music. In a parallel world, this famous album was able to come out in good conditions, hit the airwaves, and pave the way for other joint albums.
With its fifteen titles, the album entitled Invincibles is quite classic in form: most of the tracklist is based on storytelling, melancholic titles, and more offensive pieces. Some tracks still stand out, and surprise the listeners. We think, for example, of The Assassin VS the Diamonda friendly but nervous clash between two friends who don’t spare each other the time for a piece. Treason, the featuring with Vitaa is obviously THE big single which plays in a loop on all the radios and on television. On the only other featuring, we find Calbo and Lino, for a big powerful ego trip on a Wealstarr prod, which marks the spirits of fans of the genre. Another surprise, the astonishing Suzy Guetta interlude, an attempt at fusion between house and rap, produced by DJ Bellek, is a big risk-taking. The piece divides listeners, but still finds its audience in clubs.
Sinik and Diam’s also give each other a solo title. The rapper swings the energetic OMG (Original Mélanie Georgiades), a powerful track with a lot of second degree, in which she responds to her detractors with a lot of perspective on herself and her public image. For his part, Sinik delivers a more personal title, the very introspective A Great Time part.2. The piece is successful, but necessarily less impactful than the first. The rapper will concede a few years later in an interview with Pascal Cefran that writing a sequel to one of his classics was a mistake: “the centerpiece of a discography should never touch. It’s my great classic, and I feel like I’ve tainted it with this second part. I’m not denying this song, it’s good, I’m proud of what I wrote. It’s just that… I should have called it something else, and not written it as a sequel to an already existing track..”
The promo and the tour
This is a first for French rap: Sinik and Diam’s do absolutely no promotion. The only communication is limited to clips, bombarded on television and broadcast on all French rap sites. No interview, no freestyle on the radio, the two artists rock the album as it is, without trying to defend it other than through music. The tour that accompanies the release of the disc is the best space of expression for Sinik and Diam’s, who spend several weeks together and take the opportunity to make a documentary on the backstage of the Invincibles Tour.
The joint album of Sinik and Diam’s is a special case: pressed in 200,000 copies in limited edition, it is only sold in the concert halls of the tour. A limited distribution which does not prevent the records from selling like hotcakes, and reaching a very large audience. In the midst of the download crisis, Invincibles has become the most pirated album of the year in France, according to a study by the British company Muso, which specializes in the fight against these illegal practices. Sinik and Diam’s expected it, according to the rapper, who explained to Booska-P in 2015 that “*on a limited edition of such a big and long-awaited album, it’s inevitable. This is also why we chose to print a certain number of copies, the idea was also to create a feeling of rarity, that it makes sense to pick up the physical album rather than downloading it***.”**
Once the 200,000 copies have passed, the public wants more. Against the advice of the artists, the record companies agree to press 100,000 new records, on a reissue entitled Invincible…together. Two titles removed from the original tracklist are added as a bonus, as well as a tecktonik remix of the title Suzy Guetta. Still during this interview for Booska-P in 2015, Sinik will not hide his disgust with the methods used by the majors: “*they took a very good album to make a denatured product. If we discarded these two titles, it’s because we knew full well that they were not as good as the rest of the tracklist, and above all, that they had no place among the other songs. The tecktonik remix, I don’t even want to talk about it. And the public was not fooled: we were insulted for years because of this piece, while we fought for it not to be done. Looking back, who was right? Where did the guys doing tecktonik go today?***”**