Journalist and music history graduate Félix B. Desfossés and rapper Imposs have taken it upon themselves to restore the facts about the roots of hip-hop in Quebec in an eight-part documentary.
“Everyone knows that hip-hop in Quebec didn’t start with RBO and Lucien Francoeur,” laughs Imposs, who co-hosts with Félix the documentaries “Les Racines du Hip-Hop au Québec,” which will be available from February 1 on the website of Télé-Québec available are B. Desfossés.
Even though he knew that the first steps of this culture in our province were not attributed to the right people, the co-founder of the Muzion group still did not know what the true narrative of this story was.
“I didn’t even know who opened the doors to the art form I practice […] When Félix approached me with his research and the book he had written, I said, let's go, we'll tell the real story,” explains Imposs in an interview with Le Journal.
“I have always found that in Quebec we have been intellectually lazy when it comes to researching the history of our music,” complains Félix B. Desfossés, the author of two separate works on the roots of hip music: -Hop and that of metal in Quebec.
The two men's search for the truth took them back to the early 1980s, when Michael Williams hosted Club 980, the first radio show to broadcast hip-hop in Quebec.
One thing leads to another: The hosts meet people who have shaped the history of hip-hop. From Flight, who launched the first radio show dedicated to this style of music in the late 1980s, to Blondie B, one of the first female rappers to gain attention in Quebec, to DJ Choice of Dubmatique.
Deeper than music
The documentaries not only shed light on the true roots of hip-hop in our province, but also paint a portrait of the socio-political situation in Quebec at the time of the 1980 referendum and the distance between Francophones and Anglophones, attempting to explain why the narrative initially fails was conveyed correctly.
“The reality that Montreal's English-speaking community experienced during the referendum era was almost untold in the French-language media,” notes Félix B. Desfossés. “At that time, there were young people in Montreal who felt pressured and excluded from the country's project. [Cette jeunesse] wanted to express herself, so she clung to this new culture, hip-hop.”