Tuesday, 14 December 2010

"Portraits De Cite'" A French Hip-Hop City Photos From The 1990's (Book Review)

Portraits De Cite' (2008)
French Hip-Hop City Photos from the 1990's
With work by: Bakir Ziani, Richard Hort, Ambroise Mendy, Jean-Paul Gentile, Abdel Ben Massaoud & Mohamed Boughamni

On a recent trip to France I found this in a book shop, they really celebrate a varirty of French people representing Hip-Hop culture. Here are some of the highlights.

Raiders Caps

From an outsider, the French Hip-Hop scene has always looked amazing. In the 1990's Movies like La Haine, Graffiti Books like Paris Tonkar,groups like NTM, Assasin, Iam, MC Solaar, DJs like DJ Dee Nasty, Crazy Fast Camel (DMC Finalists); Graffiti Writers like Tran, Nasty, Color, Kay One GT (and his French Hip-Hop shop in London) and U.K. legend Mode2 (moving to Paris); and the many French B-Boy/B-Girls making a huge presence in the International Hip-Hop scene.


Obviously France is a huge country, so the market is enormous and so can support a proper functioning Hip-Hop industry. Unlike the U.K., the French government also passed a law forcing French Radio Stations to play a large percentage of French Language music. This in turn has created a large selection of French Hip-Hop artists, and labels to sign them.


In the 1990's French Hip-Hop only Radio stations like SkyRock and others supported this progressive movement, and many local councils all over France have laid on big budget community Hip-Hop Events that feature B-Boy, Mcing, Dj and Graffiti. It is common for French Artists to do collaborations with high profile MC's like Nas, CNN, Wu-Tang, the late Guru and many others, French Graffiti Mags can be bought in the smallest village News Agents, and B-Boys who travel the country and world doing showcases. It would be useful for the UK scene to take note and learn from our French Family!


Grasshopper Style

Power Moves

Paris Tonkar from Paris Tonkar on Vimeo.

Also to see The Kool Skool's Review and info on "Paris Tonkar"

Paris Tonkar is about to release a new Graffiti Magazine more info below

Paris Tonkar now has a Blog
Paris Tonkar Flickr
Paris Tonkar on Vimeo

Yo Pegasus!! Yo Tasek!!


Claire Rabkin said...

Hi Kool Skool!

I am the Art Editor of a magazine that publishes writing and art about contemporary life and culture. We are publishing an essay on French hip hop of the 1990s and I am interested in finding the rights to these photos from Portraits de Cité. I cannot find the book or publisher anywhere. If you have any more information about the publisher, artists, or copyright, please respond as soon as possible. Also, if you have any other suggestions of photography or artwork of French hip hop, all ideas would be warmly welcomed.

Many thanks,

Claire R.

The Kool Skool said...

Hi Clair,
thanks for your comment.
The book "Portraits De Cite"
isbn 2-9512548-2-2
was published in 29/5/98
Concept Project by Eric Bourret, STÉNOPÉ
22 Boulevard Eugene Pelletan
Tel 04 91 55 50 94
I think this is the publisher
Editiond Initial 12,
rue du Coq - 13001
Tel 04 91 50 44 64

photos by:
Bakir Ziani, Richard Hort, Ambroise Mendy, Jean-Paul Gentile, Abdel Ben Messaoud & Mohammed Boughamni. intro by Yannick Geffroy. You could search them online facebook etc for direct photo connections

Also get in touch with Siba Giba https://twitter.com/SibaGiba
He wrote a book about HipHop in early 90's HipHop and is French American. He wrote a HipHop Version of "Paris Tonkar" he probably has loads of 90's HipHop photos and connections.

Paris Tonkar is the best old school graffiti book published outside of US, and is about Paris Graffiti. http://thekoolskool.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=siba+giba

I hope that's helpful, let me know when its out, or can help with anything.
All the Best
Peace Shucks