Why is Ma 6-t Va Crack-er (Bande originale du film) on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Underground French hip hop that reminds me that there’s nothing better than discovering great music.
Some stats & info about Ma 6-t Va Crack-er (Bande originale du film)
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Compilations, Film Soundtracks, Hip Hop, French Music, Underground Hip Hop, Rap
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – not rated!
- When was Ma 6-t Va Crack-er (Bande originale du film) released? 1997
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #966 out of 1,000
Ma 6-t Va Crack-er (Bande originale du film) on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Ma 6-t Va Crack-er (Bande originale du film) mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
This album makes me think about discovery in a few different senses. For one, this album is an extremely impressive collection of French hip hop. Hip hop as an art form was born in New York City, and as a native New Yorker that gives me an odd yet real sense of satisfaction by proxy. It’s pleasing too to see that wonderful and expansive genre of music expand worldwide and hear it reflected through different languages, worldviews, and experiences.
There’s another kind of discovery, too. I got to thinking about how I discover music has changed over the years.
When I was a kid, my first line of music discovery was my friends and family. My older brother, Robert, was into bands like Pink Floyd and The Beatles, and helped to instill a lifelong love of classic rock. And along those lines, my friend Jake gave me a mixtape of Led Zeppelin that I wound up wearing out to the point that I had to do the move where you use a pencil to try to return the cassette tape to some form of its former glory.
Radio (terrestrial radio!) and the early days of MTV were also crucial influences in my young ‘un days. Hit me up as a young lad in the right year, and I’d be as big of a Madonna, Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, or Pointer Sisters fan as you’d find.
In high school, I worked at a health food restaurant on Long Island called Pro Portion, which was located in the same strip mall (note: Long Island is jammed full of strip malls) as a pretty great independent music shop called Mr. Cheapo’s. It smelled of incense and musty album jackets, and had cool posters of bands like The Doors and The Who. Many weeks I would run, not walk, to Cheapo’s with my weekly paycheck and binge away on compact discs.
Fast forward my life (my life tape?) a little bit, and I hit the local music venues scene hard in upstate New York during my college days and in Manhattan for a spell after that. The introduction of “listening stations” at music stores was huge, and then came the early days of the Internet, MP3s, and the seeming miracle of peer-to-peer platforms like Napster.
At a certain point, though, I became disinterested in discovering new music. I had a massive amount of “my” music at my disposal, and I could listen to it on demand – via custom playlists, by album, on shuffle mode, or what have you – and I lost the desire to consume new stuff.
But then, something changed again, and I think technology (again) had quite a bit to do with it. Mobile apps like Songza curated amazing custom playlists based on genres or your current mood or even individual characters from Mad Men. And Pandora and Spotify made it exceptionally easy to not only discover music, but catalog it in any way that I’d like. Suddenly, my desire to explore music – old favorites and new “discoveries” both, was on fire once again. Spotify particularly became my go to service to easily plug into a galaxy of music, and became indispensable during the research phase of this project.
These days, I discover music in all kinds of ways, and that gets us back (finally!) to Ma 6-t va crack-er. I heard a really cool French hip hop song on Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Season 1 Episode 5) of all things, a fairly good Amazon Prime show, and it turned out to be “Les flames du mal,” by Passi and White & Spirit.
Turns out that Ma 6-t Va Crack-er is a soundtrack to a French film of the same name. A commenter on Rotten Tomatoes helpfully notes:
Made two years after Kassovitz’s “La Haine”, “Ma 6-T Va Crack-er” explores the same theme of the violence that grows in the subway districts of Paris were young immigrants live hopelessly without any sign of progress.
“La sedition,” by 2 Bal Niggets, Mystik, and White & Spirit has a similar vibe though in this case it’s very mellow, almost dreamy lo fi hip hop backdrop with aggressive underground-style French language rapping over the top.
“La roue tourne,” by Arco, Mystik, and White & Spirit is more laid back yet just as compelling.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Ma 6-t Va Crack-er (Bande originale du film)
Speaking of French hip hop in American television shows, I always look out for this scene in The Sopranos episode where Carmela and Ro head off to Paris (“Cold Stones”).
The song playing in the taxi, also quite good, is “Ouvre les Yeux,” by PM.