One track at a time, Ichon and his clique Bon Gamin – Myth Syzer, Loveni and, by association, Bonnie Banane and Muddy Monk – redefine the rules of the game by blurring the boundaries between rap, pop, lyrical songs, and electronic music. In 2020, the image of the bad boy cultivated by Yann Bella Ola gives way to that of a vulnerable and sensitive human being. He asserts himself through a refined and fluid style of dress, playing with gender codes and assuming his femininity in a binary world. For this first album, the Montreuil artist, who’s taken up the piano, collaborated with PH Trigano, Crayon, and Adrien Pallot. The result is 15 tracks that are sometimes difficult to classify, often at the crossroads of genres, each more original than the last, touching on bass music, funk, R&B, and neo-soul. Ichon sings, speaks, clamours, raps, surprises with his playful diction and the flexibility of his flow. The thirty-year-old’s words express the ills, the generalized anxiety, and the mixed feelings of young adults who are facing the need to accept their identity (“Presque deux”, “Miroir”, “Pas Facile”) to find their place in a society where the injunction to be or not to be is paramount. To free himself from these shackles, the rapper invites us to appreciate his originality, his difference (“911”), and above all to recognise human frailty (“SOS”, which takes up the delicate subject of suicide – death is very present on the album). Released on his birthday, September 11th, the video for “911” reveals a polished aesthetic that evokes that of West Coast rappers – between eccentric visual concepts and an absurdist staging. Perhaps because he and I are the same age, I’m moved by his straightforward poetry, touched by the accuracy of his lyrics echoing my own experience. Like an irrepressible urge to give it another shot, yet again. A proposal that comes from the heart and which, for real, deserves the title of best album of the year.
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