Chapter 6 – Marché Noir

Chapter 6 – Marché Noir: The Hip Hop Hustle in the City of Light

Chapter Abstract

This chapter concludes the book’s examination of the interrelated conscious/gangsta and vernacular/commerce binaries in hip hop and turns its focus to the art/life binary–the book’s third pillar. It begins in the hip hop community of a Parisian radio station and its weekly Marché Noir live hip hop show, examining the ways that such communities are formed. By tracking the group Blackara and their self-defined “arriviste” (hustler) ideology, I attempt to register how hip hop becomes both a vocation and a lifestyle, a performed hustle and a performative avocation. As we will see, hip hop is simultaneously a music, a culture, and a way of being in and knowing the world. The chapter interrogates the sonic form of Blackara’s “arriviste” hip hop consciousness and tracks the valences of black conspicuous consumption as a subversive act in this capital of haute couture by considering Blackara’s postcolonial gaze from the city’s margins. The chapter concludes by looking at the music of Marché Noir regulars associated with the Capitale Sale (Dirty Capital) record label.

Chapter Keywords: hustlers, black market, community radio, Blackara (music group), Nicolas Sarkozy, Capitale Sale (record label), alternative economies, gangsta rap, conspicuous consumption, Négritude

*   *   *

Chapter Media

Taping of Marché Noir in the Studios of Radio Plurielle.  Xiao (rapping) and Mani (bottom right) and host Tarik at board in control room (in white) (photo by the author).

chi-rollefson-Fig12a

 

DJ Dirty Swift producing live beats for the MCs from the control room of Marché Noir in the Studios of Radio Plurielle (photo by the author).

Swift

 

Blackara, “Bang Bang”

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x20vlh_blackara-bangbang_music

 

Blackara, “Les Arrivistes”

 

“Les Arrivistes” – Xiao and Mani exhibiting their “personalized” styles  (photo by the author).

image26

 

Xiao’s design for the Offensive Records t-shirt (back and front) (photo by the author).

Xiao-Back

For them I am:
less than nothing,
a robber, lazy,
a delinquent, a savage,
an outcast, a coward,
a prisoner, the bad guy,
an ignoramus, an imbecile,
a problem, a good for nothing,
a modern slave
But when I look at myself in my mirror, I see: a father, a son, a brother,
a ghter, a genius,
the future, a go-getter,
a hard worker, a thinker,
a visionary,
a free man.
they judge us but . . .

Xiao-Front

They do not know who we are

 

Wira and Greg “The Greek” in studio one with sound booth at rear (photo by the author).

image28

 

Boramy in studio two with a stack of LPs (photo by the author).

image29

 

Left: Overlapping Posters on a Place de la Bastille street light. Right: Detail of cover art for the Ecoute la Rue Marianne hip hop compilation album (photo by the author).

image30  EcoutLaRue