Parlaying the experiences of the austere Parisian suburbs into melodic anthems, Maes deploys a polished fusion of spitting and singing that's elemental to the modern sound of French rap. Born Walid Georgey in the rap-fertile northern outskirts of Paris in 1995, Maes released his first mixtape in 2017, while serving an 18-month prison sentence. Committing his life to hip-hop upon his release, Maes promptly ratified his place in the thriving French scene with his second mixtape, Réelle vie 2.0. It made unlikely bedfellows of hardcore trap and evocative pop ballads, a union he continued to nurture on his 2018 debut album, Pure. On that, he transformed street dreams into contemporary standards (“Billets verts”) and gifted the world with a rousing Auto-Tuned alliance with the monarch of rap français, Booba (“Madrina”). Though Maes' standing as an arbiter of melodious hip-hop was already assured, his 2020 sophomore album, Les derniers salopards, added new dimensions to his craft. With hood hymns like “Street" and the tender dedication to a former love “Imparfait," Les derniers salopards confirmed Maes’ position at the vanguard of the new wave of chanson française.