The talent of non-binary rapper Illustre is obvious. With their first album, Ille, the artist comes and goes between genders, blurs borders, talks about society, keeps it real and it feels good. Review.

Musically, the majority of the tracks are not what we naturally turn to. But Ille, it’s one of the French non-binary pronouns and soon we realise that what we will enjoy here are the lyrics, all in French, but so important. With a strong voice and a confident flow, Illustre gets their point of view about French society on Mémoire, a poignant, realist, sometimes provocative text, mostly personal and activist.

And it’s not the only lyrics they’re writing about social subjects. The rapper also hangs out with us in a club on Dimension Parallèle. Crazy track with beautiful energy, it takes us to the throat in an electric neon atmosphere. Illustre also talks about feminism and the hard times a creator gets with Paradigme, Recommencer and Cœur ou raison, among others.

But we really get close to their heart, their intimacy and their values when we listen to the delicate Maladif and the powerful Type Chelou, which is no doubt, the most important track of the whole opus. Melodic, catchy and musically sober, Type Chelou is a probable hit with a politic message. The voice is forward and it becomes impossible not to hear what the artist has to say with its deep, poetic and personal meaning. It’s our favourite.

Overall, rap fans will get to discover a new flow, variety fans will have all the lyrics and poetry, trap fans will adore the musicality. And us? We just love the courage, the messages and the ambition of this accomplished debut album. Illustre is an artist on which the French rap and urban pop world will be able to count on.

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Type Chelou – Illustre

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