Over the last weekend of september 2019, French Congolese artist, Gims ended up his Fuego Tour at the Stade de France. The biggest French stadium in the City of Love. Alongside with family and fellow Hip Hop artists, the #GimsAuStadeDeFrance is definitely trending now, since he lit up the national venue on fire with unexpected performances.September, 28th 2019 will forever be on everyone’s mind for the next decade. The National Stadium of France welcomed for the second time a rapper. Indeed in 2013, Eminem performed in front of 70,000 persons at one of the most notorious stages in France. Six years later, Gims took over the same stadium and became the first French urban artist to grace the Stade de France stage. Some may call him the French voice of his generation and other might says that he is overrated, but everybody can agrees that Gims has definitely written his part of History. From the pride of witnessing such growth from this artist, to the authentic brotherhood and sense of community, Gims at the Stade de France was without a doubt an iconic moment.
The Birth of Gims
Once upon a time 33 years ago, Ghandi Djuna was born in Congo. By the age of 2, he moved to France where he experienced the hard knock life of being an African in Paris. Growing up in a family full of musicians, it took Gims 2002 to join the French hip hop scene. Alongside with MC’s like: Lefa, Barack Adama, Maska, Doomams, JR O Chrome, Black M and L.I.O Pétrodollars, Gims (back then called Maitre Gims) formed Sexion Dassaut. A fresh raw parisian hip hop group with some Wu Tang Clan-ish gimmicks. A few street battles and freestyles later, in 2010 the group became successful with an album called “l’Ecole des points vitaux” with 400 000 albums sold. They even managed to be the opening act for another French older iconic group, NTM.
Two years later, Sexion Dassaut returned with the successful album “l’Apogée” and sells 700,000 albums. Maître Gims, who then appears to be already a triple threat, was working his way to a solo career. Fast with his lyrics delivery, he can also sing and has a unique look. 2013 is the ‘Subliminal’ era, the first Maître Gims solo album. Over the years he worked with artists, such as Pitbull, Stromae, Sia, Lil Wayne, Maluma (just to name a few). From Afrobeats, to Latino sounds and traditional French songs, Gims has evolved, crossing over different music genders. An ability that has widened his fanbase, and allows him to fill 72 000 spots at one of the biggest venue in France.
A Family and Friends Reunion
7:40 P.M. The stadium is full of people walking around trying to find a way to not miss a beat. The surrounding shops of the stadium area found a way to be a part of the history by playing Gims songs. The neighbors who were staring by the windows, didn’t even need tickets to the concert, since they could hear a whole symphony from outside. “Bikini photo, bikini photo“, artist Hmagnum made the trip. He is a rapper and songwriter who co-wrote most of Gims albums. The street has been talking, Hmagnum is a key player who originally formed Sexion Dassaut. He has been a part of the Fuego Tour and now performs at the Stade de France preshow with other French rap artist sensations, such as, Vegedream, Heuss, and RK. That night turned out to be a real family reunion. His little brothers took part of the festivities. Dadju, his little brother performed as Gims’ first act. He was followed by his other little brother Bedjik who shared the stage with Gims during one song.
The Gims Fuego Tour takes over the National Stadium of France
9.00 P.M. sharp the landscape is darkening. The lighting effects are switching from red to white to blue. Even the annoying smartphones pulled in the air are involved in the magic. The guitar is electriying the public. Gims is about to take enter a stage where Michael Jackson, Prince, Johnny Hallyday, Beyoncé, wrote history. Few enchanted tricks later Gims has arrived.
Some creativity efforts were made on the graphic scenes side. Each song had its own visual effects. The fire torched were a reminder of the whole spirit of this tour, the Fuego Tour. The musicians were as eclectic as the Gim track record list.
Here are some of the hits Gims played at the Stade de France.
One of the highlights of the evening was the Sexion Dassaut reunion. Kids, parents, visitors from oversees, hip hop heads and afrobeat lovers all came to support this moment of Culture.
Given the international dimension of the platform, a certain level of artistry was expected. Gims has the voice, but the showman factor with vocal tricks was not assertive enough. The popular opinion would explain this by: ” Yes, but he is a French artist“. The sense of entertainment between France and the rest of the world is different. Unfortunately, the comparison with his peers who previously stepped into that stage is inevitable. After all it is the Stade de France.
Overall, Gims at the Stade de France was a success. The symbolism of this event, the scenic production and the diversity of his public, granted Gims a new status. A rock star is born.