On Netflix, ‘New School’ Unfurls the Stream of Rap Stars’ Seeds

Based on an American reality TV show, this tele-hook gives rap from France and Navarra a well-deserved spotlight. Despite a few shortcomings, money efficiency is a hit.

“I no longer want to pull pallets, carry crates of tomatoes or make hamburgers”, says STLR, 25. “I, today, it’s rap or that”, adds her competitor Soumeya, 23, also from Marseille, and he seems really on point (later she sends the cameraman to graze). The first thing that strikes you, in the testimonials of all those who appear in this new show broadcast by Netflix, is their incredible determination. And bits of life that confirm what we already knew: rap comes from the streets, it’s the soundtrack of “bad boys (and girls)” and working-class neighbourhoods.

This is still very different from The voice or the star academyj. At the start of the pre-selections there will be twenty-five candidates (not all of them on the screen) from Marseille, Paris and Brussels. In the end, after several events (free style, fight where you have to “collide” another competitor …), in the end only one will win the prize of 100,000 euros “so that he can do what he wanted to do from an early age”. rap! New school is the French adaptation of rhythm + flow, a musical reality show launched by Netflix in the United States in 2019, in which hip-hop artists rate and critique aspiring rappers who have not yet been signed by a label. Great casting: the Brussels Shay, the Marseillais SCH and the Parisian Niska have already had great careers in the jury. While no one has reached their thirties. They are supported by some local substitutes that we are happy to find. In Marseille, the famous JUL, so shy that he always speaks with his head down, marks the retina with his “total look” tap dance socks. In Brussels, the tender veteran Isha (he is 36 years old!) clearly testifies how difficult it is to enter the rap game: “I come from a time when, when I went to Paris, I didn’t say I was Belgian. † With the success of Damso, Roméo Elvis and other Angèle, a lot has changed since then…

Beautiful casting: among others in the jury, the Brussels Shay and the Parisian Niska, who have already had a great career.


Swag and kicking looks

Of course, under the eye of the cameras, we can quibble over some of the obvious weaknesses of this tele-hook. The methods of pre-selection of candidates therefore deserved more clarity. Was it done in a naked voice, without instrumentation, and was a beat added to the montage later, as the recordings at the Stade-Vélodrome and in a city courtyard in Évry suggest?

But New school is above all an entertainment that is touching. The editing, alert, jumping, with beautiful images of the visited cities, does not explain everything. There’s something else. An American style ‘cash’ spirit, where things get honest, so far from convolutions and things left unspoken, from the aloof irony and false benevolence of French various TV shows. A penchant for dramaturgy and “swag” (boasting off), all of whom here, “teachers” or “students”, play with relish. Special price for the “killer look”? Won without a doubt by the quiet Julien Schwarzer aka SCH, 29, shoulder length hair and pirate rings in his ears. Riding his motorcycle on the Canebière, he would almost think of the Count of Monte-Cristo, the character imagined by Alexandre Dumas who escaped from the penal colony of the Frioul Islands… Award for the best jury member? Let’s give it to Niska who, more than her colleagues, explains the candidates and explains in detail what to do. “For me you should have brought more flow. Because unfortunately, if you come up with such an instrumentation, and you do staggered flows, you don’t follow the music, and the audience doesn’t follow you. † And who knows how to summarize the essence: “It’s not in the box that it happens, it’s on the floor. † After thirty years of rapid follow-up, we confirm the verdict. Our favorite competitor? Her name is Leys. She is 23 years old. Starts off shy and then tears everything up on stage. But we’re only at the fourth episode…

To have
q New schoolon Netflix.

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