Monday, September 25, 2006

French Chanteur

We had another impromptu dinner with a friend the other day. As I was opening the wine, and hitting the fridge and stove, I asked her to take care of the music. She selected Grand Corps Malade. I was busy messing up with my cooking toys, when she asked:
- Who is this singer?
- He's a French slammer from the Paris suburbs.
Pause. Looking for the garlic crush.
- Is he well known?
- Yes. He was propelled to fame recently.
Pause. More Wine. Were did I put the olives?
- So...he's famous?
- Now, yes. A real stroke of luck.
- Is he typical?
- Of what? Want more wine?
Pause. Chopping the basil. Tasting the sauce. Needs S&P.
- I he typical of French music?

That's when it finally dawned on me that no, our friend does not speak French. GCM is a true poet -- in the same league as Gainsbourg, Nougaro or MC Solar -- but he does NOT sing. Slamming is reciting texts in a rythmic fashion, but with hardly any, if no music. No matter how deep and heady GCM's voice is: if you don't understand the words, you won't get the magic.

Turns out dear and by now giggly friend had selected GCM because of his intriguing silhouette on the CD case. We settled for James Brown.
modified illustration Thomas Gabison/GCM's website

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