Born Bad presents the second volume of the Chebran series which focuses on French boogie. The French in the '80s were not faint-hearted: as some threw themselves heart and soul into music or business, others wouldn't mind going bottomless to get themselves noticed. While Bernard Tapie soon realized his own fortune was rather to be found in business, many music-loving dreamers already imagined themselves in the sun, in an enchanting world made of funky rhythms and synthesizers. While the French National Front was growing in the shadow of François Mitterrand, these guys mixed New York-style funk with electronic, Eastern, or African sounds. With their genre-crossing arrangements and often chanted lyrics, they brought honor to the "SOS Racisme" generation, unconsciously outlining the nascent French contemporary urban culture. The French, while admiring Grace Jones' "savage beauty" in Jean-Paul Goude's advertisements, were enjoying their freshly-gained fifth week of paid vacation, tanning on the beaches of Maghreb.
Following The Clash's example, punks and rockers converted to reggae, and the new independent radios opened up their programming to "world music." At the other end of the pyramid, the successive waves of immigration enriched France in a much better way. With the rise of "Youth and Culture Centers," the practice of musical instruments became affordable for those of humble background, allowing for new bands to appear. Caught between the spirit of Gallic bawdiness and their own community hopes, the musicians from this singular scene probably didn't succeed in life the way Bernard Tapie meant it. But their explorations left no room for doubt: by facilitating the rise of a new hybrid culture about to give birth, among others, to French hip-hop, those little-known artists indeed were off on an adventure, quite simply.
Since the '60s, numerous venues destined for the North-African community had appeared all over France. In those bars and nightclubs, Eastern 45s were broadcast as well as local productions combining Raï, Frenchy funk, or proto-hip-hop. Thanks to the cassette tape medium, new songs kept circulating between Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, Marseilles, and many other urban areas - mainly among the working class. The artists appearing on these compilations progressively shaped a new style, blending sounds from their original cultures and from their adopted country. Features Phil Barney, JM Black, Ettika, Sammy Massamba, Shams Dinn, Alfio Scandurra, Philippe Chany, Nordine Staiffi, Brigitte Et Michot, Alec Mansion, Marie Jose Fa, Hamidou, Ganawa, Creole Star, Manu, Ethnie, and Joel Ferrati.