In France, TTC are the next big hope for hip-hop. But though popular in their home country, they are distinctly underground off the continent. They have, nevertheless, been making waves that are lapping the edges of, or some would say washing right over the English-speaking world’s hip-hop stronghold.
French hip-hop is not new. After being introduced to France 1982 by Bernard Zekri, who organised a tour of djs, rappers, breakdancers and graffiti such as Afrika Bambaataa, Fab 5 Freddy, Rock Steady Crew and Futura 2000, French suburban youth picked up and ran with the new style. The famous French compilation Rapattitudes
first appeared in 1989.
TTC’s original, three member incarnation appeared on dozens of French mix-tapes and compilations in the late nineties before becoming associated with a collective called ‘L'Armée des 12 Singes’, and also released a single called Game Over 99 / Trop Frais
independently in 1999. The trio have since become a quartet, or depending how you look at it, a sextet. In addition to the group’s three key members Teki Latex, Cuizinier and Tido Berman, the group’s DJ, Orgasmic, is taking a more prominent role. The music for the 2005 album Bâtards Sensibles
was produced by two of France’s most exciting electronic pioneers, Para One and Tacteel, bringing the crew to six members. Signed with Ninja’s Tunes’ Big Dada in 2000, they have since contributed to a plethora of records, including a guest appearance on Modeselektor’s new offering Hello Mom!
(Bpitch Control 2005).
TTC’s skittering, thumping electro-hop oozes with hyperbolic parodies, and iconoclastic humour – the sardonic lyrics on Bâtards Sensibles
includes rhapsodies on menstruation (Du Sang Sur La Dancefloor
), the nature of time (the DJ Screw tribute Codeine
) and having sex with friends’ girlfriends (Rap-jeu
). Piss taking with finesse, TTC, the supreme poseurs, deliver eighties funk with acid-squelched gangsterism for a beautiful cultural convergence.