The 10 best French rap tracks, according to Para One

With over 15 years of releases under his belt across the likes of Institubes, Sound Pellegrino, Fool's Good, Because Music, and his own label Marble – Para One is a multifaceted producer and DJ who is just as much at home remixing Daft Punk and he is soundtracking feature films.

The early stages of Para One's career were spent producing for innovative French hip hop collective TTC, with work on their masterpiece 'Batard Sensible'. Not a stranger to the club, he also dived deep into electro tinged house productions, releasing his relentless remix of Daft Punk's Prime Time Of Your Life in 2006, along with his blissfully moody and equally euphoric full-length solo debut 'Epiphanie', released on Insitiubes – a label ran by fellow TTC members Teki Latex and Tacteel. In more recent years, he set up Marble with fellow French electronic producers Surkin and Bobmo and also joined the ranks of Busy P's eclectic label family, Ed Banger Records. 

Still steeped heavily in old skool hip hop influences, Para One is known for regularly rolling out '90s, '00s, and French hip hop specials on his Rinse France slot. To celebrate his knowledge of nostalgic deep cuts and the behemoth scene that is French rap, we got him on board for a 10 best of his favourite tracks.

Read Para One's selections below and listen seamlessly via our YouTube playlist.

Lunatic Le Crime Paie

Para One: "The track that revealed the most influential duo of that era (Booba & Ali). Lunatic were playing it mysterious, hiding their faces on most pictures and depicting the darkest aspects of the street life. There are a lot of rather cruel lines in that track."

Idéal J Show Bizness

Para One: "A posse cut featuring 113, Manu Key and Rohff about the necessity to keep it real and independent within the music industry. That DJ Mehdi beat was one of his best at the time."

Beat De Boul’ Dans La Sono

Para One: "Another posse cut, just a collective ego trip from Boulogne’s finest on a magical beat."

Hi Fi L’Elevation

Para One: "Hi Fi is my favorite French rapper. He’s been largely overlooked and it’s a shame. His punchline science, backed with a natural flow, is second to none."

Démocrates D Le Crime

Para One: "Huge Jimmy Jay production on this timeless classic. French horrorcore to its finest and incredibly well written."

X-Men Retour Aux Pyramides

Para One: "It’s hard to pick a X-men song for a 10 best as they have so many legendary songs. This one is on Richet’s soundtrack for Ma 6-T va crack-er."

Doc Gynéco Nirvana

Para One: "For those who don’t understand French, don’t be fooled by the sweet melodies and lazy singing: these lyrics about suicide and depression are amongst the most hardcore ever, but Gynéco is able to make anything sound pleasant and easy."

Oxmo Puccino feat. Booba Pucc Fiction

Para One: "An apparently dark but quite tongue-in-cheek storytelling featuring Lunatic’s Booba. Oxmo was a huge revelation of the mid '90s. Both of them are still relevant and very active today."

La Rumeur Blessé Dans Mon Ego

Para One: "Strong and honest depiction of the contradictions in the life of second generation African immigrants."

Fonky Family Une Seule Fois (Pone & Djel remix)

Para One: "I prefer the beat from this rare remix. Fonky Family are kids from the streets of Marseille, and they’re the best at describing the toughness and melancholy of everyday life in France’s dirty South."

Para One plays Extrema Outdoor in The Netherlands on July 9th (info) and Solar Weekend August 4th-7th (info).

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