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About Naps

An integral part of the new wave of hip-hop emerging from France’s second city, Marseille, Naps spread his vibrant brand of Mediterrean pop-rap to all six sides of the hexagonal country. Born Nabil Arlabelek in 1991 to Algerian parents, Naps was raised in the city’s largest housing projects and began rapping as a teenager as part of the group 11.43. On the 2015 solo album Ma ville & ma vie, songs like “A l’instinct'' and “Pour la money” displayed Naps’ spin on the club-friendly, Italo disco-inspired style of hip-hop pioneered by his fellow Marseillais rapper Jul. Incorporating Auto-Tuned strains of Algerian raï, Naps’ breakout sophomore album, 2017’s Pochon bleu, married pitch-altered street life and beach-purposed beats. The 2018 follow-up À l'instinct confirmed Naps’ status as a French hip-hop heavyweight, propelled by the effervescent “Favela” featuring Soolking. He augmented that repute with the buoyant double album On est fait pour ça the following year. A career-defining collaboration with hit-for-hire Ninho, “6.3,” was the ungovernable stand-out single off Naps’ fifth album, Carré VIP. Inclusion on Jul’s all-star collective album 13 Organisé certified Naps’ position at the forefront of the city’s rap renaissance.

July 27, 1991
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