Stomy Busgy’s comical ego-trips

Stomy Busgy’s comical ego-trips

“Le Calibre Qu’il Te Faut”, a French-style mafia comedy

Sony Music, 1996

“From Ministère A.M.E.R. to Secteur Ä”

Originally from Sarcelles, Stomy Bugsy first made his mark in the group Ministère A.M.E.R. alongside Passi in the early 90s, making him one of the pioneers of rap in France along with other groups such as Assassin, NTM or IAM. With two albums within Ministère A.M.E.R., the group has forged a strong reputation in Hip Hop with violent and radical lyrics and a political commitment far from subtle. The group manages to impose itself in the landscape of the French rap with a gangsta rap at the same time conscious and hardcore. Some scandalous songs such as Brigitte Femme de Flic or Sacrifices de Poulet gave them a publicity with the general public, the ministry of the interior wanting to ban the songs, in particular Sacrifices de Poulet released in 1994.

After their second album, the group decides to concentrate on their respective solo careers, both for the members of the group but also for the affiliated members, who will gather a little later in the Secteur Ä collective. Led by Kenzy, the members of the collective are almost all from the Val d’Oise, the name refers to the cité Valery, a district of Sarcelles which was nicknamed the Abdulaï Sect. Doc Gyneco was the first to launch a solo album with Première Consultation in 1996, Stomy Bugsy followed with Le Calibre Qu’il Te Faut the same year. The other members of the group continued to make their mark in the following years with Les Tentations by Passi, Rue Case Nègres by Neg’Marrons and Quelques Gouttes Suffisent by the duo Arsenik. The collective will manage to impose itself as a very big seller of records on the end of the 90’s and the beginning of the 2000’s with realizations which are part of the biggest classics of the French rap.

“The French debut in the Californian G-Funk”

Compared to the albums of Ministère A.M.E.R., Stomy Bugsy took a new artistic direction with much more toned down lyrics. It’s not that Stomy isn’t real, but the committed and conscious content will disappear for lyrics that are more gansgta, more entertaining and more fun.

Directly inspired by the West Coast rap of the United States, Stomy draws his inspiration from the G-Funk records of the beginning of the 90s featuring Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound or Warren G. With Doc Gyneco, the rapper from Sarcelles will be one of the greatest French representatives of a sunny Los Angeles-style rap, a genre that was not very usual in France at the time.

Entirely produced by Doctor L, who made his debut with Assassin, the album features a beautiful mix of melodious G-Funk filled with whistling synthesizers, soft guitars and a slow, relaxing tempo. The album starts with a dramatic beat on a bass riff with a little shrill noise on Quand Bugsy Degomme, the album takes a more disturbing and sad tone with this little whistle on C’est La Merde et Tu Le Sais.

The track Le Prince Des Lacars takes us on an ego-trip full of bragging and self-mockery that is both comical and gangsta, with a vocoded and robotic chorus on an electronic production strongly inspired by George Clinton’s P-Funk. The single Mon Papa à Moi Est Un Gangster continues this self-mockery for a self-portrait where he puts himself in the shoes of his child who tells the daily life of his father. La Guerre du Rap is once again comical with references to all the competition of French rap from NTM, Alliance Ethnik to Assassin.

“Gangsterism that is both glamorous and hardcore”

In different styles, Stomy always remains gangsta, sometimes more comical, sometimes much more serious with a much more mafia connotation as it is the case on J’avance Pour Ma Familia which starts on a sample of The Godfather before following with a slamming drum. Accompanied by Akhenaton, Dernier Pas Dans la Mafia is much more threatening with more hardcore lyrics. We see a return to more conscious lyrics on tracks like Mes Forces Déculpent Quand On M’inculpe but Stomy with much more subtle formulas than before, much less direct and aggressive but still with a denunciatory and provocative connotation.

The big boss of the mafia of rap, Stomy, gives himself the airs of a gangster with multiple references to the great classics of the cinema noir, from The Godfather, to Goodfellas, to Scarface. Even if we feel that we shouldn’t look for him too much, he has a comical side, a glamorous gangster or sometimes just the little rascal of the neighborhood. His nickname is a direct reference to the American mobster of Russian origin, Benjamin Siegel, nicknamed Bugsy, the cockroach, a bloody and violent killer with a big mouth while being very flashy.

Le Calibre Qu’il Te Faut is a UFO in the rap landscape, a unique album with funky sounds made by the only one who could do it as well as him. With his comical voice, he knows how to take us into his fanfaronic stories that are as threatening as they are amusing. The album is like a mafia comedy. One of the best albums in the history of French Hip Hop that easily fits in a top 10 all time, for me it is easily top 5. 

By Grégoire Zasa

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