If we should look for a rapper who personifies the concept of talent, we would be facilitated,looking inside the brilliant French scene, by taking us straight to Roubaix, in the extreme north: here, in fact, the young rapper of Moroccan origins, Zkr, born in 1996 has been identified more and more as the enfant prodige who put the North, back on the map and, above all, as one of the most interesting talents of the entire panorama beyond the Alps.
In times like this where the only thought to get famous is to bang out the “hit”; Zkr, on the other hand, starts from the scratch putting one of the most loved styles of Hip Hop at the center of his repertoire: the freestyle. In fact, he began, at the age of 14, to come out with the first rhyme in 2010, already showing all his technical skills. In 2018, he decided to officially launch himself powerfully into the scene by inaugurating a series of 5 minutes of freestyles published throughout the year. The flow, the metrics, the rhymes and the singing skills highlight the great talent of the boy from Roubaix, increasing the hype for a first official project.
Zkr is just warming up. After a series of persuasive singles such as “Poursuite” and “J’ai Fait Le Tour” finally released, in January 2021, his first album entitled “Dans Les Mains“. Certainly one of the most awaited projects in France for an emerging rapper. The first effort of Zkr satisfied all expectations and highlighted his stylistic and thematic peculiarities..
“Dans les Mains” perfectly reflects the attitude of the young rapper, with purely rap lyrics focused on street credibility. However, the talent of Moroccan origins proves to know how he moves on other styles, with catchy refrains in order to demonstrate all his versatility and avoid being repetitive. All this, while maintaining his credibility and predisposition towards the pure and raw technique of classic rap.
What emerges from the freestyle singles and obviously from the debut album is undoubtedly the hunger for redemption and the desire to aim to the top without compromise, highlighting episodes of real life that describe the street life and the sufferings that this situation led to Zkr. In fact, the rapper from Roubaix does not exalt it or romance it; choosing a different path compared to many rappers of the new generation of his same age:
“Nan, j’peux pas rester là, j’veux pas leur ressembler“. Zkr, “Romance criminelle”).
In his texts emerges his past behind the bars as many of them were written in prison. The adjective “real” to describe Zkr would be too simplistic. In addition to demonstrating his ability to write, that is not so obvious these days, Zkr always manages to bring that touch of modernity to his pieces (facilitated by the updated productions of Dj Bellek). Therefore not too anchored to tradition while maintaining an evident respect for the golden age of the French rap.
The listener is satisfied from every point of view, having an available choice of pieces that ranges from direct punchlines and aggressive flows to more sung pieces that address issues such as love and friendship. This difference is clearly noticeable in the new album with more rapped songs characterized by more street themes such as “Intro # 9” or “Sourire des Millionnaires”, real hits among “Tu vois Comment?” In collaboration with PLK, up to get to more introspective pieces like “Là-bas” which concludes the journey of “Dans les mains“.
Although he has still published few staff to be fully evaluated; the talent branded “arrondissement” 59, seems to be strongly aimed at becoming one of the reference points of the French scene thanks to the solid foundations built in the last two years.
Success and its relative steadiness over time are not measured by the single 100-meter race but with a tough marathon, and Zkr seems to have fully understood this.