Beatmakers mixtapes: essential projects for the good health of French rap

Ikaz Boi, Binks Beats, Freakey!, Meel B, Amine Farsi or even Unfamous Louie: since the second half of the 2010s, a slew of beatmakers in turn offer high-flying albums bringing together the cream of French-speaking rappers and rappers.

If these releases appear as refreshing formats in the midst of the hundreds of French rap releases, they are also reminiscent how essential the producers’ music is. By exploring the subtleties of production, proposing unparalleled artistic directions and unprecedented artistic collaborations, the composers who present their own album affirm themselves both as artists in their own right, and at the same time also offer artists a unique space of freedom. So on the occasion of the release of Binks Beatz’s latest project, focus on producer mixtapes and their crucial importance in French-speaking rap.

Affirm your identity

On September 15, a producer behind the most tortuous instrumentals of French rap formalized his return after more than 3 years of solo inactivity. With a new high-flying mixtape, Binks Beatz unveiled the sparkling Drip Music 2, and brings together on its instrumentals so characteristic artists in demonstration of permanent talent. Laylow, 1pliké140, 8ruki, Frenetik, Enima and many others have made this project a contemporary mixtape faithful to the codes of the genre: a large dozen tracks and a handful of artists linked by the talent of their generation, all , led by a virtuoso conductor.

This desire to offer such a format does not come from nowhere: greatly influenced by the mixtapes and compilations of the 90s which forged his passion, Binks Beatz has chosen to offer his own mixtapes by bringing together the most outstanding rappers of his time.. The result is clear: 15 songs, 15 bangers. Another success for the FL Studio virtuoso.

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However, with a solid success and a reputation established in French production for more than 6 years, the producer could easily have contented himself with chaining placements and producing for other artists as he has long done. done brilliantly. By collaborating with 13 Block, Rim’k, Hamza, Kekra or even Lil Baby, Binks Beatz’s long CV could have been summed up as a production exclusively intended for other French rap artists. Like Junior at Prod, Zeg P, Flem or even Heezy Lee, Binks Beatz would have established himself as a major player in the French music industry, and would have continued to make his instrumentals resonate in the four corners of the Francophonie. But no. In parallel with his high-flying investments, Binks Beatz decided to take a major step in his career in 2019 by presenting his first solo project: Drip Music.

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By condensing 39 minutes of frenetic drums, cavernous melodies and powerful and bouncy 808s, the producer presents in his album a complete exploration of his dripping universe, and as the evocative title Drip Music indicates, explores over the course of 12 tracks the sounds of an avant-garde trap of its own. And this is the big challenge of beatmaker mixtapes: by sharing albums entirely guided by the productions of an artist with a defined universe, they allow the public to discover the universe of the producers, to identify their artistic identity and to consider them as artists in their own right, at a time when the work of a producer is certainly much more recognized than in the 2010s, but still suffers from a lack of recognition for some.

artistic freedom

In addition to allowing their authors to materialize their musical identity, these beatmaker projects also allow offer guest artists an exceptional window of freedom. Let’s take the example of Meel B and his very good 4-track S&S EP released in the summer of 2021: if we look at Boogie, the track with featuring with La Fève, the fruit of their collaboration gives birth to a facet never heard of the rapper before. On an instrumental with strong groovy accents, distorted percussion and aerial and dancing melodies, the rapper spreads a flow as heady as dancing on a production on the fringes of those he is used to taming, and thus offers his audience a new facet of his music.

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Same thing for Ikaz Boi: with his series of personal albums, the producer gives birth to new collaborations by bringing together on the same track artists who had never collaborated before. On the first opus of his Brutal series, the track Ganja brings together Ateyaba and 13 Block in a spectacular demonstration of talent, and in his latest EP Paradise, the composer makes the crazy bet to bring together Laylow and the sulfurous singer on the same track. Bonnie Banane in a vaporous and completely new track.

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By allowing beatmakers to present their musical identity to a wide audience and by sharing collaborations and unreleased tracks, beatmaker mixtapes have been playing a major role in French rap for several years now: they make it possible to punctuate the flood of releases with refreshing tracks, but also and above all, to finally install the producers as artists in their own right. One thing remains certain: these mixtapes are essential to the good health of French rap, and for the years to come, let’s hope that they continue to proliferate in our dear French rap.

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Beatmakers mixtapes: essential projects for the good health of French rap


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