free download: young paris mixes electronic rap with congolese rhythms on his latest ep #soundcheck

July 2, 2014

Young Paris comes from a family of artists and performers. His father, Le Grande Elombe Badila was the co-founder of the First National Ballet of the Congo. His siblings perform in the traveling drum & dance ballet “Diata Diata.” So it makes sense that the sights and sounds of Congolese performance would feature so prominently in Young Paris’ music. On his latest Rap | Electronic EP, Young Paris mixes the title sounds with Central African rhythms for something truly unique.

Words by Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

Click here for free download

The EP opens with “WATAH,” the strongest of the bunch. A mix of EDM production, Congolese rhythms, and modern hip-hop, Young Paris makes music to unite people through dance. Given his family’s history of using dance to unite the Congo in the 60’s, Young Paris’ declaration of dance as the solution to all our problems is less than the post-hippie sweet nothing it might seem like coming from anyone else. “Show love, that’s it / No guns, no drugs, no thugs / Just love, that’s it” he spits on the hooky “KLAP.” The earnest optimism would be disarming if it weren’t so infectious. As the EP continues, it leans less on the African rhythms that give Rap | Electronic it’s unique flavor, focusing more on, well, electronic rap. (At least there’s some truth in advertising!)

Closer “ZANI” emphasizes Young Paris’ effortless flow over the freshness of his production. So much is made of his aesthetics (hell, he name drops Alexander McQueen!), that it’s easy to miss that more than just a smart stylist, Young Paris has some serious skill behind the mic. While the EP loses some momentum in the middle, the highlights showcase an artist with nothing but promise.