For our first Throwback feature, here’s the video for “C’est Stromae” (This is Stromae). It was uploaded to YouTube by Dapastudio, Stromae’s official channel, on March 28, 2008.
“C’est Stromae” was the first clip from his 2007 EP Juste Un Cerveau, Un Fond, Un Flow Et Un Mic.
One of the best things about this video for English-speakers is that it shows us how Stromae pronounces his own stage name. He’s always hyper-polite about the pronunciation, insisting that it’s OK to pronounce it however you want, and even introducing himself as “Stromay” to English-speakers. But since the name is actually a reversal of the syllables of the word “maestro,” it makes sense that, well, c’est “Strome-I.”
He introduces us to his philosophy of music, kicking off with a hefty dose of bravado before rapping about his humble beginnings (“and I don’t dare tell you that I suffered, because when I see my brothers, I’m proud of eating Aldi”) his rejection of a sex-and-money-crazed “rap biz,” and wanting to “touch lives” with his music. He tells us that he doesn’t have either extensive musical education or street cred: his only weapons in the battle to succeed are his background in solfège and percussion, his head, and his drive.
Just a little peek at the lyrics:C’est Stromae, préparez les parades
Sortez les caméras et rappelez vos camarades
J’arrive au mic… si je débarque
C’est parce que je veux parler, j’aime qu’on me remarque
Je veux qui m’écoutent tous, au moins une fois This is Stromae, prepare the parades Get out the cameras and call your comrades I’ve arrived at the mike…if I’m starting out It’s because I want to talk, I like to be noticed I want everybody to listen to me, at least once ***** Et une modestie sans égale car
L’ironie m’envahie donc t’es mal barre And a modesty without equal because Irony overtakes me so you’re in big trouble ***** Si je viens c’est pas pour faire bouger les filles
Mais faire bouler les foules
Et peut-être toucher des vies, connard!
Je viens pas compter mes coups
Ni jouer les cools
Avec mes couilles et mes dollars If I’m coming it’s not to make the girls move But to make the crowds boil And maybe touch some lives, jerk! I’m not coming to count coup Or play cool With my balls and my dollars ***** Plus de quatre ans de solfège:
Autant d’percu’, ma tête et le fait que je perdure sont mes seules flèches More than four years of solfege As much percussion, my head, and the fact that I persist are my only arrows ***** C’est Stromae, juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic
C’est Stromae, c’est qui? Haha juste un ordi, un beat, un bic et un mic
C’est Stromae, juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic
C’est Stromae, juste un ordi, un beat, un bic et un mic This is Stromae: just a brain, a flow, a base and a mic
This is Stromae: (who’s that?) Haha just a computer, a beat, a pen and a mic
This is Stromae: just a brain, a flow, a base and a mic
This is Stromae: just a computer, a beat, a pen and a mic *****
Here’s Stromae performing “C’est Stromae” at a party with friends in 2007. The quality of the sound and visuals are terrible but it’s still quite something to see how he started out.
Thanks to rap.genius.com for the help with the lyrics.