I Kiffe NY, CMJ showcase French hip hop at Hiro Ballroom
[Above: La Caution]
Though Parisian MCs and DJs have most often garnered attention for their exercises in civil disobedience, the I Kiffe NY festival, which started on October 6 and lasts till the 28th, has taken a lighter approach to its display of France's urban arts and culture. On Oct. 24, the festival's procession of film, dance, music and lecture events will culminate at CMJ's French New Talents showcase at the Hiro Ballroom, featuring musicians La Caution, Mangu and Wax Tailor.
All three artists compose a nice soundtrack to a lost weekend in Europe circa 1993, and promise an uninhibited live show. Sharp ears may recognize the La Caution brothers' Ocean's 12 soundtrack score contribution, "Thé à la menthe." Wax Tailor's Xavier Jacques isn't so much rooted in spit-fire rhyming as manipulating beats and textures into syncopated chill-out tapestries, more on par with Thievery Corporation crossed with some old fashioned mixing/scratching a la RJD2. Mangu is no stranger to New York: Born in the Dominican Republic, he lived here before moving to France, and his work streamlines his international experience into Caribbean flavored dance hall and hip hop grinds.