13 Block’s “BLO” is proof that pockets of “revolutionary hip-hop” exist beyond our borders.
It took a total of 5 full-length projects for 13 Block to reach the pinnacle of French rap. While that might seem like child’s play to a MAGA fundamentalist, the truth of the matter is: the French hip-hop scene remains deeply entrenched in its revolutionary phase, due to endless social tensions marked by the country’s post-colonial past and present.
That’s precisely where 13 Block comes into play, boasting the versatility to switch between a political pose, and virtual turn-up in a mere two seconds flat. Behind every distrusting plotline waged against French authoritarianism lies a pocket of inventiveness, that doesn’t sound at all like anything that’s being produced in the Americas.
Since debuting their BLO album on April 26, 13 Block (composed of Zefor, Zed, Stavo, and Sidikeey) have gone about accentuating the project with 4 consecutive music videos, culminating in “Petit Coeur,” which dropped a few hours ago. In order to help you situate yourself with a foreign language, Stavo’s refrain of “j’ai laissé mon cœur à la maison,” is essentially a disclaimer to the group’s more salacious fans.
J’ai laissé mon cœur à la maison, qui n’a pas vécu, verra tchi
J’ai laissé mon cœur à la maison, anticipe la frappe, Verratti
J’ai laissé mon cœur à la maison, j’vais l’laisser, laisser
J’ai laissé mon cœur à la maison, j’l’ai laissé, laissé.
– Stavo of 13 Block