1. Onra —“An Introduction to Rap Français” Mix (AUDIO).

    Even if you don’t understand the language, there is something to get out of this mix, especially as far as beats are concerned. For those of us unfamiliar with these French productions, it’s like discovering an alternate universe of mid-’90s hip-hop beats. It’s a bit mind-bogglin’ to hear. So merci to Onra for putting us on.

    Onra Says: I grew up [on] French Rap even though I got into it a little after U.S. Rap and R’n’B, mostly because it was hard to find in my countryside hometown. I’m glad I picked it up around the time where it was at its best though, perfectly synced with the golden era of its original American version, the mid-’90s.

    I had the idea for this mix while at a party in New York a few years ago. When the DJ started playing a Biggie song, the whole crowd started to sing along, not a single person didn’t know the lyrics. Of course, most of these people heard it a million times already, but it was the fact of “being in NY and playing some ‘old-school’ NY Rap” that made me realize we don’t have a single song like this in France. We have tons of hits and dope songs, but very few DJs are playing them in their sets. It is now totally off-the-radar on any radio [station] or at any parties, and a big part of our national musical history is slowly disappearing.

    I’m definitely not the most legit French guy to do this kind of mix, but the ones who are, unfortunately, don’t have the same window to the world, and this is my chance to share with y’all some of my favorite French Rap songs. My wish is to help this beautiful heritage regain some of its value, as it’s been sadly looked down upon and under-appreciated over the years, and that [this mix] serves as a good introduction to this genre for people who might be curious.

    ( Download )

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