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YouTube and French rap: the story of a close relationship

Parodies, decryptions, analyzes and first listens: on Youtube, content related to French rap is not lacking. And for good reason, the explosion in the number of creators on the platform and the broad democratization of rap in France have experienced an explosion at relatively similar periods. So since the mid-2010s, many videographers have found their tone, their concept and their well-defined identity to talk about the talents, albums and major issues of French-speaking rap.

But today, their audience has become such that a single video can greatly boost an artist’s career and offer him a solid new audience. So how has Youtube become a platform intimately linked to French rap and what role can videographers play in showcasing talent from this scene? Focus on the virtuous circle mixing rap, parodies, analyzes and a nice dose of the second degree.

Parody and Tributes

We are in 2013, and one of the biggest creators of the platform presents a new video soberly titled “Le Rap”. In a video full of valves and references, Mister V parodies with a certain distance the style of many rappers and underlines with humor the sometimes slightly ridiculous aspects of the codes associated with the musical genre. However, at the beginning of the 2010s, rap in France was only at the very beginning of its revival, and still benefited from a somewhat dried up image: the rare times when the traditional media approached French rap in its lines or his broadcasts were not without contempt, rejection and misunderstanding of the movement and its codes, as Thierry Ardisson’s broadcast has repeatedly demonstrated.

So with this video, Mister V was one of the first to bring a different point of view to the current: by addressing the clichés that made rap at the time, he took the opportunity to proclaim his love for the genre and place himself as one of its seasoned defenders, in opposition to the traditional media. In addition to those of the artists, new voices are therefore gradually beginning to rise to support and support French rap, and this, via pleasant, fun and accessible content.

But it was in 2015 that the parody treatment of rap on the platform experienced a real change. That year, a certain Maskey published the first video on his channel: “How to do NLP”. The first episode of his series “The Recipe” is a success: it quickly reaches one million views and presents, with a concept that dissects the musical and stylistic profile of an artist, a video as funny and entertaining as it is impressive: Maskey recreates a piece with an atmosphere, a clip and texts that are completely credible and in keeping with the universe of the artists presented. Halfway between parody and tribute, the creator presents through “the Recipe” original, accessible and funny content: thanks to him, Youtube strengthens its link with French rap a little more.

1pliké 140, Booba, ThaHomey, SCH, Koba LaD: beginners as confirmed, it doesn’t matter, a good handful of rappers are parodied, caricatured and staged in situations as wacky as they are hilarious. For Théodore, forcing the line around these characters is also a way for him to proclaim his love for the actors of this scene: his licked achievements also contribute to highlighting the talents of the French rap scene on the second social network the most used in the world.

Analysis and extension

But YouTube is not just a space dedicated to humor: it also leaves room for documented, sourced and exciting content. Purple gradient logo, light editing and full scans: one of the pioneers in deciphering French rap on Youtube is none other than Max Brodi, better known as the Regulation. With his quick edits, extremely rich and punctuated with references and jokes of all kinds, he released a first video in 2016 with a very specific theme: the resemblance between Nekfeu and Django. He compares their styles, their musicality and their way of writing with a certain force: he develops an idea with supported arguments while remaining captivating throughout his editing. Its concept is accessible, unifying, and has also been a resounding success since its inception.

One million subscribers, 100 million views and 144 videos later, The Settlement has now become one of the strongest links between content creation on YouTube and French rap. Thanks to more and more in-depth analyses, remarkable freestyle and various concepts, the channel now has a solid fanbase that never misses a single one of its releases.

With this notoriety, The Rules can now afford to analyze rappers less highlighted by the industry, and thus share their own favorites with a wide audience. This is what he was able to do in particular with one of his last videos devoted to Winterzuko, a rapper from soundcloud, who does not hesitate to mix electronic influences and fast and hard-hitting rhythms, all sublimated by his piercing voice and sharp lyrics. Making another video about the current plugg, The rules are part of an interesting approach: he uses his audience to discover talents, movements and influences that he listens to and likes to share, whether popular or not.

For an artist, having a dedicated video on his channel therefore amounts to receiving a huge blow of explosion: a few days after the release of the video, everything went very quickly for Winterzuko : his number of monthly listeners on spotify has greatly inflated and the streams are accumulating as fast as his instagram followers.

A few weeks ago, the artist was considered a hope of the new generation, and in just a few days, he seems to have passed an important milestone when he saw his fanbase double in volume, convinced by the provided and detailed analysis of the videographer. The regulations have now become a real springboard for rappers, and therefore allow them to make widely viewed videos while highlighting their favorite artists.

This phenomenon is reminiscent of that of Seb, who with his video analysis on Rilès, had provided him with a monstrous exposure and propelled his career, until a few years later he completed a tour of the French zeniths.

So even if it occupies an important place due to its important notoriety, The Regulation is not the only one to make qualitative rap analyses: other creators just as applied as Raska, mentioned above, or Kustom do not hesitate to detail the universe of an artist, look back on their career or even offer lighter and entertaining content that is still close to the French rap universe.

Anyway, almost 9 years after Mister V’s video, YouTube is now full of qualitative, accessible and exciting content on the great artists, currents and cogs of the French rap scene treated brilliantly. Between humor and decryptions, analyzes and theories, the diversity of content is such that it seems as broad as the musical spectrum that today makes up French-speaking rap, and that’s good : the platform and our favorite music now maintain a virtuous circle which, in addition to delighting us with this more than cool content, can definitely only bring good to creators and artists of this French-speaking scene.

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