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These cyclists who turn up the volume in the city

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Today, all cities want to be “peaceful”. Public policies in Bordeaux, Lyon, Bourgoin-Jallieu, Annemasse or Paris emphasize the pacification of urban space, thanks to speed limits and the promotion of soft mobility, among others. Reading the measurements, we can already imagine a crossing of Paris nose to the wind, feet on the pedals, whistling Charles Trenet. But, hardly the first verse hummed, at the red light, emerges an unexpected neighbor and not very “appeased”, that one could call the “bike blaster”.

The blaster bike, or when a cyclist installs a Bluetooth speaker on his handlebars which spits sound at full volume on his immediate surroundings. If you choose, you will come across Carmina Burana (exalted banking framework), Techno-Trance volume 10 from 1995 (fevered mountain biker descended into the urban jungle), Léa Salamé making jokes to MEP Nathalie Loiseau on France Inter (repentant and eco-converted motorist), Orelsan (quadra CSP + who thinks he is cool) or Booba ( pre-teen doing rear wheels on a Vélib’).

A way of life in the “téci”

It is precisely from a Booba clip published in 2020 that we can try to draw the thread of this craze. We find in Sword all the codes of gangsta rap: girl with big breasts and blonde wig wriggling in a boxing ring, men with flashy collars, pit bulls and… bicycles. Instead of a large engine, a group of cyclists filmed by a drone makes figures in the Pablo-Picasso city, in Nanterre. Interviewed on YouTube by Golden (M6 Group) about his participation in the clip, one of the riders declares: “For me, cycling is really a way of life. It’s a real escape. »

The bicycle, the vehicle of choice for rap culture? If it had been released in 2022, the tube of NTM My Benz would perhaps have had as a refrain “In my Véligo go go”… Less bling, but more accessible. It’s also what sings rapper Nahir in his heady track danilo (2020), apology for Jack Daniels in the event of a cannabis breakdown. “Oh yes, I cycle around the tess (I’m bored) / When there’s no more chocolate under cello (in the tess) / We’re khapta under Jack Danilo (oh yes). » In the clip, we actually see him going around his city on an elegant Dutch-type bicycle, while one of his companions brandishes a gun and another, a bottle of whisky.

No wonder, therefore, that said bikes are equipped with a loudspeaker, a transtemporal echo of the mythical ghetto-blaster of the pioneers of American hip-hop. Portable (but heavy) cassette player with vibrant bass, the object accompanied the spread of rap culture around the world. Witness the song by New York rapper LL Cool J released in 1985, I Can’t Live Without My Radioa true ode to his JVC RC-M90 which appears on the album cover: “While my JVC vibrates the concrete (…)/Don’t mean to offend other citizens/But I kick my volume way past 10” (“My JVC rocks the asphalt / I don’t want to shock the other citizens / But I turn the volume up well beyond 10”).

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