21 Best French Rappers

French rappers are known for their unique style, beats, and rhyming skills. Many of these rappers started their careers in the golden age of hip hop, while others are newer and releasing hip hop in the 2020s.

Today, French rappers dominate the charts and are beginning to gain worldwide recognition. If you have yet to listen to French rap, here's your chance. You can check out our list of the best French rappers below.

1. IAM

IAM

Hailing from Marseille, France, IAM is a French hip-hop group consisting of Akhenatona, Shurik'n, Kheops, Imhotep, and Kephren.

The group focuses its rhymes on a range of themes, including Africa, Ancient Egypt, and mythology. The songs mix a unique rap style and French beats with Middle Eastern and Egyptian musical influences.

IAM released its first album, De la planete' Mars, in 1991. The group had their first French number-one hit in 2003 with “Revoir un printemps.”

2. MC Solaar

MC Solaar

Born in Chad, MC Solaar immigrated to France at an early age and grew up in Saint-Denis.

MC Solaar found success early in his career and released his first single in 1990. “Bouge de la” peaked at 22 on the French charts. From there, MC Solaar releases eight studio albums. He finally hit number one on his third release, Paradisaque.

MC Solaar is regarded as one of the premier rappers in France and is also respected worldwide. He broke into the US markets with a collaboration with Missy Elliot on her track “All N My Grill.”

3. Supreme NTM

Supreme NTM

Comprised of rappers Joey Starr and Kool Shen, Supreme NTM is a French hip-hop group based in Seine-Saint-Denis.

NTM is known for its politically charged lyrics that fight against police brutality, racism, and youth violence. Their songs help to represent the minorities and underprivileged groups in France.

Both rappers offer a unique rhyming style that enhances the other's style. Joey Starr uses a slow-rhyming style accented by his deep, booming voice. Meanwhile, Kool Shen's lyrics provide a funky groove with witty and melancholic tones.

4. Booba

Booba

Booba started his career as a break dancer in the early 1990s. In 2000, Booba joined with his friend, Ali, and formed the duo, Lunatic. Their first album was critically acclaimed, but they decided to part ways.

Booba went on to a successful solo career and has sold over ten million records. His debut album, Temps mort, peaked at number two on the French charts. He finally hit number one with his third album, Quest Side. As the most downloaded French artist, Booba pushes boundaries in the hip-hop scene.

Boob was inspired by many New York rappers, including the Wu-Tang clan and Mobb Deep. His lyrics often combat contemporary issues, including racism, individual freedom, taxation, and violence.

5. Oxmo Puccino

Oxmo Puccino

Oxmo Puccino is a French-Malian rapper. As a young rapper, Puccino joined the hip-hop collective Time Bomb. Here, he worked with other famous French rappers, Booba and Diam's.

Known for his complex vocabulary and ingenuity, Oxmo Pucciono creates beautiful poetry with the violence associated with street life in Paris.

After his debut release in 1996, Oxmo Puccino released several mixtapes before finding commercial success in 1998 with Opera Puccino. This album peaked at number seven. Puccino has since released nine studio albums and two live albums.

6. Doc Gyneco

Doc Gyneco

Born in Clichy-sous-Bois, Doc Gyneco moved to Paris, France, at an early age. At 19, Gyneco joined the rap group Ministere AMER.

Doc Gyneco uses a mix of ragga and rap in his songs. Many of his songs use sexual and provocative lyrics along with promoting drug use. He also covers other complex and controversial topics like racism, drug abuse, and poverty.

Doc Gyneco released seven studio albums and three compilations over his career.

7. Nekfeu

Nekfeu

Nekfeu is a French rapper born in La Trinite. He moved to Paris at the age of 11.

He released two extended plays in 1995 to critical acclaim. Nekfeu released his first studio album, Feu, in 2015. This album was a big hit for Nekfeu, and he won Best Urban Music Album at the Victoires de la music awards.

Nekfeu continues his success, and every album he releases has been certified diamond. His latest album release, Les etoiles vagabondes, topped the French charts in 2019.

8. Disiz

Disiz

Disiz grew up listening to French rap legends like NTM and IAM. Rapper Joey Starr found Disiz after listening to a mixtape he received.

Since his humble beginnings, Disiz has been a major player in the French hip-hop scene. His first album, Le poisson rouge, reached number five on the French Billboard charts. He continues to release music and recently released his 12th studio album in 2022.

The latest album, L'Amour, includes Disiz's first number-one single, “Rencontre.”

9. Rohff

Rohff

Born in Madagascar, Rohff's family moved to Paris in 1985. He started rapping at an early age and had his first album released in 1994 while working on Premiere Classe with rappers Neg'MArrons, Mystik, and Pit Baccardi.

In 1999, Rohff was ready to release his first solo album. The album had some commercial success. Rohff's second album propelled the artist to stardom in France. His next few albums were smash hits and reached the top ten on the French Charts. Three platinum records and four gold records prove that Rohff is one of the best French rappers alive.

10. Niro

Niro

Niro is a Moroccan-born rapper raised in Blois, France. The rapper started his career in 2007 after releasing the album Niroshima III. After several collaborations with other famous French rappers, Niro released his first single, “70 Kg,” in 2011

In 2012, Niro released his first album and found some success on the French charts. It wasn't until his second album, Reeducation, that Niro broke through to mainstream French charts. Written while incarcerated for five months, the album speaks of his legal troubles and how he dealt with the problems.

His biggest album, Mens rea, peaked at number four on the French charts in 2018.

11. Diam's

Diam's

Diam's is one of France's most famous female rappers. Born in Nicosia, Diam's grew up in Paris.

Diam's joined the rap group Mafia Tres in 1997. The group had one release during its run. Diam's went on to release her first solo album in 1999. She wouldn't find commercial success until after the release of “Suzy.” The song found viral success and helped Diam's sign a record deal with EMI.

Her third album brought Diam's into the spotlight. Dans ma bulle and S.O.S both reached number one on the French album charts. Both albums were commercial and critical successes.

Since 2012, Diam's is officially retired from the music industry.

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