Saturday, 28 September 2013

Urban Peace Three: French Hip Hop festival at Stade de France

This weekend sees the Urban Peace Three festival taking place at the Stade de France, probably the highest
profile hip hop festival in the country.

As well as a showcase for the genre with some of the biggest acts in France participating, it provides a clear snapshot as to the current health of the country's hip hop scene which remains vigorous and hugely popular.

Previously the event has been held in 2002 and 2008, this year the focus is on urban peace and solidarity.

Headlining the bill are Sexion d'Assaut, an act who are probably France's biggest hip hop act in recent years. Their show comes ahead of the relase of a new 'best of' collection in November.

Also at the top are IAM , who have not only had a long career,  haveing been at the forefront since the 90s, but have this year enjoyed a  higher profile than ever following their number one Art Martiens collection and subsequent single releases.

Elsewhere on the bill is  Rohff, a rappers whose albums have reached the top ten of the French charts for over a decade. His latest, a double entitled P.D.R.G. has just been released.

OrleSan takes the stage too, his last collection - 2011's Le Chant des sirènes selling over 100,000 copies. He recently appeared on the new Stromae album Racines carrée.

Stromae himself appears at the event, his new album - one of 2013's most anticipated releases- still at number one in the French charts. He's recently confirmed he'll be undertaking an arena tour round France in 2014.

Another acts who has had a high profile this year is Maître Gims, who has made a significant impression as a solo artist while also being a key player in the  Sexion d'Assaut team. His debut solo came out earlier in 2013, and it is being re-issued as a special edition with bonus tracks in November.

Psy 4 de la Rime make a return, having played at the two previous Urban Peace events. The Marseilles act had enjoyed considerable success early in the 21st century and split to pursue solo careers. They reformed this year, and their 4eme dimension collection was released and reached the top three in France.

Also taking the stage is Youssoupha, whose Noir Désir album from last year reached number three in the French charts. This year saw the release of its follow up, entitled On se connaît.

Meanwhile, La Fouine, and artist who has been an associate of Youssoupha also appears. Youssoupha featured on La Fouine's 2013 single Il se passe quelque chose. His Drôle de parcours collection reached number one earlier this year.

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