Review: Heather Metherell
THE French group, Saian Supa Crew, proved that Hip-Hop could
be just as enjoyable in a foreign language as it is in your native
tongue, at their gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire on October
Bursting onto the stage with incredible force and energy, they
filled their theatre with their presence immediately and soon
had the whole place moving.
Whether or not you could understand a word of what they were
saying, you couldnt help but sit up and take notice. In
fact, your GSCE French wouldnt stand you in much stead anyway,
as much of their rapping is done in a kind of French slang.
There is a marked difference between the performance of the Saian
Supa Crew and their American equivalents, and thats in the
sheer energy with which they perform.
The six members move together as one (an effect enhanced by them
all wearing the same Saian brand T-shirt) and dominate an otherwise
empty stage with dancing that appears to be carefully choreographed.
What is missing is the posing and gesturing that is normally
associated with Hip Hop artists, the Super Crew seem more concerned
that their fans are having fun.
Part of this was plenty of audience participation, the call and
response, first in French, then in English, showed where the bulk
of the audience was from and, quite surprisingly, it seemed
pretty much divided down the middle.
One of the highlights of the evening was the incredible beat
boxing from Crew member, Sly the Mike Buddha, who mimed tuning
in stations on a radio station to tunes such as Billy Jean and
Voodoo Chile, while showing off his vocal talents with scratching
The Saian Super Crews excellent performance went some way
to beat the prejudices about French Hip-Hop as they charmed the
crowd their fresh, lively mix of Hip Hop, Ragga, Reggae, Dancehall
and African Rhythms.
There was so much to be admired in the production and presentation
of the music that the language was forgotten, in fact the beauty
of the French language is that you dont necessarily need
to know what it means to enjoy its sound and flow.