Three years that Nekfeu had not published anything since his third and last album, The Wandering Stars (2019), sold over 800,000 copies. Six years since he had left anything with his group S-Crew.
Since mid-May, the most popular artist in French rap and at the same time the most discreet – he no longer gives any interviews and never intervenes on social networks – had nevertheless given a small sign of life. On the Parisian ring road, large posters, without any mention, showed the logo of his label, Zoo Records, giving hope for a future project.
Solo, it seemed unlikely because as confided to the Monde in January his colleague from the L’Entourage collective Jazzy Bazz: “Nekfeu has always said it: ‘I’d rather be with all my friends on a raft than alone on a yacht.’ » So, it was accompanied by his three friends, Mekra, Framal and 2zer Washington, with whom he had formed the group S-Crew in 2001, that Nekfeu returned on Friday June 9 with SZR 2001a record that celebrates their friendship, their conception of rap and does not hesitate to comment on the current climate in France: police violence, xenophobia…
No wonder then that the first track, Do not forget, which is also a vibrant tribute to one of their own, who died on November 9, 2019 in conditions that his relatives have still not revealed. Nepal, whom they do not name in the song, as if to respect his desire for anonymity – he always rapped masked –, was a member of their collective L’Entourage but also of the 75e Session to which Lomepal belongs.
With small impressionist touches, Nekfeu, Framal or Mekra use his references to Japanese culture, the names of his projects 444 Nights or his passion for the German author Hermann Hesse. Nekfeu admits thus: “Since you left, I’ve been worrying, I’ve read all the books of Hermann Hesse, the impression of understanding your texts better and your eyes frozen like those of immortals.” »
This death has visibly marked them since they return to it in the piece Now to sympathize with the pain of his accomplice in the duo 2Fingz, Doums, « inconsolable ». The latter is present next to them for the chorus of Bad basically. Precise in their rap, demanding in their writing, the Parisians do not forbid easy refrains: just listen to the R & B ballad Encore or else the melancholy Nothing more to do.
Police violence and “yellow vests”
However, when they claim to want to make as much money as Aya Nakamura with her hit Djadja, they record the title as less urban pop as possible. These aren’t the most interesting bits of this comeback.
You have 32.98% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.