How Disiz has reinvented itself project after project for 20 years

An artist who constantly renews himself

Very well received by its audience, this new album has also allowed Disiz to reach younger generations in unexpected ways.. Featuring him with Damso, Encounter, in fact, went viral on Tik Tok, earning the top spot on the top singles chart and even earning his first gold single of the streaming era. A great confirmation for the rapper, whose discography, which began 22 years ago with Le Poisson Rouge, is one of the most eclectic of the French rap scene. From project to project, Disiz is an artist in perpetual change and each album of him can be defined by a different color. For a long time this diversity was seen as an obstacle for listeners who didn’t always know where to place Disiz. The rapper gave the feeling of being constantly in artistic research, without ever finding a definitive form.

Today, this heterogeneous discography seems to be one of the rapper’s strengths, and one of the main reasons for his longevity. As a painter in whom one could distinguish a blue period, a red period, etc., Disiz gave precise colors to each of the different phases of his discography. The love it is a new reinvention of his artistic universe and his character, but it is far from the first time that the rapper surprises. The first part of his discography, from 2000 to 2005, is the one that undergoes the least variations. However, already at the time, Disiz’s artistic personality could be declined in several versions.

A conflicting first part of his career

Discovered by the vast majority of listeners with J’pète les lead, an extremely light storytelling that became one of the great singles of the year 2000, Disiz is quickly cataloged as a comedian rapper, whose main quality is to tell funny stories. An image reinforced by another single in tone, Ghetto Sitcom, also taken from the album Le Poisson Rouge. This first project, however, has a very different color: of course, there is a lot of second degree, but also more serious themes (Le Poisson Rouge, only God knows when the bell rings), a lot of interrogation (The Associé del devil, La of the hall) and above all a true passion for hip-hop, symbolized by the simultaneous presence of Akhenaton and Joeystarr in the same tracklist.

Throughout the first half of the 2000s, Disiz juggles his public image, his artistic ambitions, some misunderstandings on the part of the rap community, his management of success, or even his origins (two cassettes released only in Senegal) . Ranked among the mainstream artists, while he was one of the only headliners of the time to invite underground artists such as Treyz L’Affreux, Joe Lucazz or Éloquence to his albums, he was appreciated by the general public for his more mainstream titles, his collaborations with Yannick Noah, and his speech which could be described, depending on your point of view, as positive or naive. His participation in the mythical debate with Joeystarr and Ekoué, organized by the Tracks program, symbolizes all the contradictions of Disiz of the time: the rapper del Rumeur abruptly puts him back in place, and definitively cancels his status as a consensual rapper. His intervention in this debate is part of a long list of errors that Disiz himself will admit a few years later, such as his speech alongside Eric Zemmour in On n’est pas couche, or his shown support for Ségolène Royale in the second. round of the 2007 presidential election. If there is one thing that Disiz cannot be blamed for, it is that he is able to step back from his own journey and understand his mistakes.

2008-2015: Disiz the undecided

Since 2008 he has made a complete artistic turning point: he changes his name, becomes Peter Punk and joins the Rouge à Lèvres collective. He then participated in the electro-influenced album Démaquille-toi, in the trend started by Grems, one of the group’s founders, and inventor of Deepkho, a hybrid musical genre between rap, deep-house and French Touch. For Disiz, this adventure will culminate in the album In the belly of the crocodile (2010), still under the name of Peter Punk, a fairly experimental project that mixes rap, electro and rock sounds. In the meantime he will have said goodbye to rap with the album Disiz the End (2009), this time under the name of Disiz, evoking in the homonymous title “the end of a cycle”, and showing himself, throughout the tracklist, very critical in comparisons of French rap and what it has become. However, he returned to rap in 2012 with a new project, Lucide, evoking his Peter Punk period as a much needed breath of fresh air.

With all these reversals, Disiz has inevitably overwhelmed his audience, but paradoxically Extra-Lucide, the album that follows Lucide, is the one that best summarizes all his influences, all his desires.. The extended tracklist (20 titles and 6 bonuses in total) allows the rapper to explore many avenues and give free rein to his different artistic personalities: full second degree egotrips (Go Go Gadget), experimental pieces (Fukushima, Extra-lucid), sung titles (Les Moyens du bord) … “Polyurethane, or Fairground, these are pieces that I could have done before, but that I didn’t dare“, The rapper explained to Olivier Cachin at the time. Disiz concludes the trilogy Shiny with Translucent in 2014, an album that also offers a very wide sonic range, and which aims to be more contrasting. We also find the influences that pushed Disiz to become Peter Punk a few years earlier (Burn Out), the usual egotrips tinged with humor (Rap Genius, MC Kissinger) and more airy titles (Happy End).

New turnaround the following year: with rap machine, Disiz puts aside all his rock / electro / pop inclinations and returns to pure and hard rap. Where the Peter Punk parenthesis had been a breath of fresh air, rap machine it represents a necessary return to origins for a rapper who has become accustomed to detaching himself from the classic codes of the genre by infusing it with other types of sounds. After moving away from rap and then returning to it in a hybrid form, Disiz needed to rediscover his pure rapper attire. If it’s not his most exceptional album, it allows him to close a chapter. Without this project, the sequel may not have the same color.

Pacific, Disizilla, L’Amour: 3 albums, 3 reinventations

In 2017, Quiet, calm therefore announces a new change, and (finally) sounds like the first project on which he is perfectly artistically free, free from any kind of concept. This is one of the most compelling projects in his discography and the beginning of a new phase in her career. Neither entirely rap nor totally anything else, this melancholy-toned album finally gives the feeling that the artist has stopped looking for himself, giving free rein to his inspiration without asking himself more questions. Quiet, calm it bears its name perfectly: Disiz looks serene and peaceful as it rarely has been before.

A little over a year later, it is a new emotion that pushes Disiz to record the nervous Disizilla, an album that is sometimes very dark. The love he has for his mother is one of the red threads of the album, and one of the reasons that lead him to express so much anger: obsessed with the fear of losing her, angry about his illness (he mentions his cancer and his chemotherapy). Other reasons for anger emerge throughout the project, be they social causes (“you did not fail your studies, they are the ones who ruined the school“), Or moments of his career, in particular his studies, lived rather badly (“in Assas, I’m a stre-mon, an accident, keep telling me that wesh, to your mother, I’ll make love“). Disizilla is an explosion of anger on 16 tracks, and a simple look at the tracklist is enough to understand the mood in 2018: Monstrous, Dialogue between monsters, Hiroshima, Kaiju, Juggernaut …

After four years of record absence, the return of Disiz with The love he then adds yet another color to his work. less peaceful than Quiet, calmsofter in shape than Disizillaless rap than rap machinemore homogeneous than Translucent, this thirteenth album concludes a very long chapter in the life of Serigne M’Baye, a chapter that began at the age of 19 with a marriage and an embryonic career in rap. A quarter of a century later, after much experimentation, mistakes along the way, albums recorded in response to an impulse and many artistic reversals, Disiz is always there, ready to write new pages and look for new colors.

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