1996. Still far from the Spotify years, radios are the rain and the good weather of the music industry. A funny law voted in 1994 comes into force and marks a turning point for French expression, and more particularly for French rap. This law, driven by the Minister of Culture at the time, Jacques Toubon, is the one that requires radio stations to broadcast at least 40% of French-speaking songs. If, at the time, we imagine a corridor for Patrick Bruel and other pillars of French song, a radio station takes another bet and carves out the lion’s share of this radical change. Skyrock.
The story that we know follows. And if, today, we cannot objectively give the famous radio a monopoly in what makes French rap the most listened to musical current in France today, it has, at that time, forged a golden age for a handful of artists who will soon be old enough to be broadcast on Nostalgie. But from the Sector Ä, Sniper and Fonky Family years, Skyrock also gave birth to some funny UFOs.
“They don’t play no game, Skyrock Radio”
An advertising slogan? Not really. It’s definitely the first verse sung by Beyoncé in Destiny’s Child’s mythical “Say My Name” which is on the radio. Why ? For a “Sky Version”, a classic of the time cobbled together in the studio like the artists of the major record companies would today prepare advertising messages for social networks. But in addition to having seen (or rather heard) the R’n’B super-group transform (in words and in meaning) its hit, it’s all in cooing that Stomy Bugsy also arrives for backs and a verse all to him.
“In Skyrock studios it’s Show-RABBIT, with Bu-bu-bugs it will never be the END”raps Stomy in a meta verse half-record company arrangement, half-pirouette for French-speaking quotas.
These Sky Versions, become “gold” still broadcast, it was not only for Destiny’s Child. More or less successful, these featurings arranged by record companies and the constraints of broadcasters thirsty for French expression are legion at the end of the 1990s. To the point that hearing the originals sometimes seems anachronistic for the generation that listens to these pieces. events in maximum rotation at the time. Not available on streaming platforms, we can fortunately trust a few fans of the genre and thank them for having ripped the songs in order to upload on Youtube. Our favorite of the time? Undoubtedly the “So Good” duo between Davina and Ärsenik. Tchhi tchhhi.