“Cool. hot. dope. sharp. easy. nice. real. tight.” Which one is it? Last week, a good friend with an ear for unique, tweaked-out music sent a link my way for this mind-warp that is “Champs Elysees” by Bonnie Banane featuring Waltaa. It’s a weird, French oddball of a track, but it’s curiously addictive. We’ve had it on repeat for the past few days, and it’s just as hard to forget, as it is to understand the meaning (if any) behind the music. The lyrics are both clever and inane (the most indecipherable may be “disoriented like a flamingo”), and the beat squeaks and drops, twists and turns as if you were listening to a chopped and screwed version of three different tracks. It’s undeniably memorable, and as Waltaa repeats throughout the song, “fresh, so fresh,” lest you forget. To add another quirk into the melting pot- Waltaa slips in and out of French rap as often as the beat changes pace. The final product, sticky and subversive, both draws you into and parodies street culture.
The music video for “Champs Elysees” (watch it here.) is equally strange and addictive. Carnival mirror camera warps, floating montages of tweaked-out 90s babies, and a lot of weird references to pagers, cassette tapes, and fannie-packs collide into a mirrored, sometimes fractured music video- a near-perfect representation of what the music sounds like. It’s an overdose of 90s and 2000s references, fresh French and UK streetwear (not to mention a whole lot of blatantly placed Lacoste product), and sharp twisted visuals (a favorite is the visual of rapper Waltaa bumping in front of a massive green screen of french fries. The real definition of swag.) To be honest, I have no way to explain “Champs Elysees,” but rest assured, in just a few days it’s already one of the most re-played songs on my iPod. Take a listen and see for yourself. As Bonnie Banane repeats “You deserve it.”