Would you say that celebrities have to look inaccessible to maintain their star image? Think about your favorite artist... Done? Now imagine that you meet him everyday in your neighborhood, that you get bread from the same bakery, or even that he confides in you like any of your mates. Will you still consider him as your star ? Bigflo and Oli, the most ordinary rappers in the history, ZEF and I gonna let you know about em...
Florian (Bigflo) and Olivio (Oli) are two brothers coming from Toulouse in southern France, with an incredible ascending career. Three albums to their credit : "La cour des grands" (2015), went gold within 4 months, "La vraie vie" (2017) went gold within 3 weeks and the latest, "La vie de rêve" released on 23 November 2018 went gold in only 10 days. They've also got several awards such as the greatest french duo/group in 2017 and 2018 at the NRJ Music Awards. Aged 25 and 22, they are the youngest french artists to have such a huge success! Despite that, they don't hesitate to play self-mockery in their songs :
"I am your grandmother's crush" - Song : Nous aussi 2"
"Bigflo, what a funny stage name. Considering my appearance, it sounds wrong." - Song : Florian
In spite of their stardom, they show that they're not different from you, from us, from anyone who listens to them.
They believed the same things we believed when we were kids:
"When I was a kid, at night in the car, I thought the moon was following me... I thought that back in the days of black and white photos, people lived colorless" - Song : Plus tard
No doubt you'll relate to the apprehension they had towards girls when they were kids (sorry ladies):
"I was scared of girls, in front of them, I was mesmerized… I thought none of them would want me, my brown eyes and black hair, the Prince Charming didn't look like me" - Song : Florian
In short, they are just like you, like us, like everyone and they overtly assert it.
The 3rd album "La vie de rêve" comes in the wake of the 2nd album "La vraie vie". Both album covers are complementary, two kids on their bike for the previous one and those two same kids with their parents for the recent one. Whoever listens to "La vraie vie" and "La vie de rêve" might confirm the link between the two albums. On the tracklist, you can immediately notice the following similarities: the song "Olivio" is performed solo by the younger brother on the second album while the song "Florian" on the third album is performed solo by the elder brother. Likewise, Bigflo and Oli dedicate the song "Papa" to their father on their second album, while the song "Maman" of this new album is dedicated to their mother.
On the previous album, we discover two boys dreaming about success, about what they think is the real life (La vraie vie). On the latest album, they wonder if this glamorous life is really what they dreamt of. What's the real life ? Find below, the tracks of the latest album in order:
- Nous aussi (2) - Plus tard - Demain : Those boys are dreaming of success.
- Rentrez chez vous - Bienvenue chez moi : the first song refers to the issue of immigration. The story of a migrants family who will be not welcome in a new country (the problem) is immediately followed by "Bienvenue chez moi" (the solution), song which presents the diversity of the regions and the fact that wherever they are, Bigflo and Oli feel like they're home.
- Maman - La seule : Even if those tracks ("Mummy" and "The only one") have nothing to do together, we found interesting to put them one after the other.
- Florian - Ferme les yeux - Rendez vous là-haut - Sur la lune - C’est que du rap - Château de sable : Is there any secret message in this sequence of titles ("Florian" - "Close your eyes" - "See you up there" - "On the moon" - "It's only rap" - "Sandcastle") ? Florian, close your eyes, relax, we know we have to make it but let's not forget that all this is just rap and everything can collapse like a sandcastle?
- Il est où ton frère ? : A song which recalls the strong link between those two brothers.
- La vie de rêve : The key song that you can find at the end of the album, after all this adventure, they wonder if this is really the dream life.
Regarding our crush, ZEF and I are unanimous about our Top 3 of the songs:
In third place, we put "La seule". This music is a gem where you can find the breathtaking voice of Naâman and the powerful assonances of Kacem Wapalek, the singer/rapper from Lyon. They brilliantly combined Rapping and Singing.
In second place, we choose "La vie de rêve", the eponymous song of the album. Being rappers ourselves, we have been immediately seduced by this compilation of punchlines: "I don't really like sleeping because my dreams are less pleasant than my everyday life". (Oli), "I no longer envy the other artists, I wish them the best" (Bigflo),...
Our big crush upon this project will be: "Rentrez chez vous". It required to play the song twice to really get the story: a poor migrants family runs desperately from his country at war, enduring sacrifices and loss, to reach a better life... But surprise! this family is escaping from France, and the country they managed to reach doesn't want to welcome those "french migrants". Sure it's about a sad and emotional story (ZEF even teared up a little), but it invites to rethink and reconsider from a different perspective the immigration crisis in the spotlight in France.
Bigflo and Oli, as they said themselves, have cracked the showbiz codes. They build an image of ordinary people, even in the way they dress, and they have managed to explode their career tho. We found an interview with "Le Parisien" where they confide and say that only a few artists would want to blend in their category, because Bigflo and Oli are considered as in their bubble. Anyway, they have proven that it's possible to just be yourself and still suceed in music. Mere exception to the rule or genuine revelation?