The story of French hip hop

By | April 10, 2021


The history of French hip hop began in 1979, strongly influenced by the American music market. The New York City rap scene was adopted as the general basis for the genre.

Radio Success

A number of hip hop radio stations began appearing in 1982. This occurred at the same time as a major rap turn came through Europe. These artists have influenced major French stars such as Rapper Dapper Snapper and DJ Dee Nasty.

Late 1980s and early 1990s

The first star in French hip hop came on stage during this period. Called MC Solaar achieved great radio success in 1991 with ‘Qui seme le vent recolte le tempo.’


The emergence of hip-hop genres took place during the 1990s. A softer form of hip hop was championed by MC Solaar and other artists. However, American gangsta rap influenced more aggressive artists such as Assassin and Supreme NTM.

Market success

In the early 2000s, the French hip-hop market became the second largest in the world. Almost a quarter of the music industry in the country is based on the hip hop and rap market. French hip hop is one of the most popular forms of music in Europe and one of the most politically charged forms of music in the country. After World War II, an economic boom arose across the country, maintained by a workforce from former French colonies. These immigrants were often treated as second-class citizens, which led in large part to the political anxiety that found its voice in French hip-hop.