The broadcast of a documentary by the very rare Nekfeu could not have come at a better time. Since the beginning of December, the Parisian rapper with three solo albums, all successful, has been driving the Internet into panic. For a few days, his first two records had disappeared from streaming platforms. His fans believed in the release of a new project, he who for four years – an eternity in the world of rap – had not given any sign of life, except participation in that of his group, S -Crew and the records of his accomplices, Jazzy Bazz or Alpha Wann.

Several commentators on specialized sites tried to reassure by saying that the independent artist had to renegotiate his contracts. Then the first two opuses reappeared. In mid-December, Les Etoiles vagabondes, his third album, published in June 2019, was certified double diamond album (i.e. 1 million copies sold). The CD, with its silver packaging, was accompanied by a film four and a half years ago, broadcast on cinema screens throughout France.

This ninety-minute documentary recounts the genesis of the recording of Les Etoiles vagabondes. It starts with a long three-minute sequence shot where the camera follows Nekfeu in his dressing room, concentrated, sticking to his steps, checking a detail of the scenography, here motivating his friends from his collective L’Entourage, then, thanks to the magic of editing, arriving in front of the 80,000 spectators at Vieilles Charrues, in Carhaix (Finistère) with this sentence taken from his album: “I have never felt so alone. »

Nice moment of poetry

A journey behind the wheel of a car follows, where he comments on the entire journey of his inspiration, his doubts, his encounters. Each trip to a different city or country – Greece, Japan, Los Angeles, New Orleans… – is punctuated by a piece from his record. The documentary, which initially takes on the appearance of a very egocentric logbook, reveals itself to be a lovely moment of poetry between friends who are passionate about music and meeting people. The girls are shooting stars, only the Japanese girlfriends are entitled to the camera honors.

Nekfeu, whose real name is Ken Samaras, first takes his fans to his grandmother’s village, Mytilene, in Greece, “a place that has been at the heart of the biggest migration crisis in the world for twenty-five years. after war “. The testimonies of those close to him who lived in the Moria refugee camp are moving.

Returning to Paris, he is lacking inspiration. He discusses rap writing with Damso, talks soul with trumpeter Trombone Shorty. He decides to go back to a dream country, Japan, pays the tickets for his friends, beatmakers and rappers, two musicians and his sound engineer, Diabi, who turns out to be a real manager. To record his artist’s raps, the latter embeds futons in a closet, controls monster consoles in the biggest studios in New Orleans… It is there, on sublime images of the bayou or the Treme district that the rapper finally confides: “I don’t hide behind metaphors, but there are certain truths that must be avoided in order to get to the bottom of them as best as possible…”

Wanderer, poet, bright star that we wish were less shooting.