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December 03, 2006

Kamini:: Marly Gomont

The Sunday Times notes the hit French rap song, Kamini and his Marly Gomont.

A QUIRKY song that appeared on the internet last month about life in a tiny French village has sparked a bidding war by record companies to sign up the young artist whose “country rap” is suddenly being hailed as all the musical rage.

Kamini, as the eccentric “rural rapper” is known, eschews the usual fare of French rap — the harsh world of the immigrant suburbs, where gangs of hooded youths beat policemen senseless and set fire to buses and cars.

Instead the 26-year-old son of a doctor from Congo takes a humorous look at life growing up in the only black family in Marly-Gomont, a village of 430 inhabitants in the northern region of Picardy.

The video of him dancing to a catchy rhythm in fields with sheep and cows has certainly put Marly-Gomont on the map: it has been seen by an estimated 2m people over the past few weeks, turning Kamini into a phenomenon of le rap and prompting offers from recording companies such as Warner and Sony.

The video, shot by his girlfriend, is certainly pretty professionally done. Low budget, yes, full of rather rural froggies and so on, the landscape could be Devon or Dorset actually. However, a little hint for the S. Times. It really isn't that difficult to actually link to the video that an article discusses. In fact, here it is.

December 3, 2006 in Music | Permalink

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» Best Example Of That Well-Known Marly-Gomont Scene Ive Seen All Day from Chapomatic
Although I cant get much at all of his lyrics, hes got great flow. Via Tim Worstall, I found Kamini, a guy with what looks like Don King At 25 Hair. Kaminis video for his hometown of Marly Gomont is rocking the vaches. I think I&... [Read More]

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» Marly Gomont from Silflay Hraka
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Comments

Rapping in French is much nicer.

He doesn't mention his hoe either, despite having a legitimate reason to do so.

Posted by: Eric | Dec 3, 2006 10:33:52 AM

i'm sure chirac is thrilled.

Posted by: reliapundit | Dec 4, 2006 12:03:08 AM

Dedicated to everyone who comes from the boonies
From some little one-horse town
You don't see no one there rappin aroun'
Not even a riff
A little hayseed town
Life goes on, they don't know you exist
Nobody knows your little one-horse town.
Not even that Osgood.stiff.

Kamini's my name,
From the hood--I ain't
Come from a place called Marly-Gomont
So, get with the beat, the beat, the beat that goes rum tum tum

You know in Marly-Gomont the roads ain't paved,
Average age 'round here 's about 68,
We got tennis, basketball, and that's about all,
but with just 3 guys in the village it ain't enough to play ball,
I come from the sticks, you can't get here by bus
There's 'bout 95% cows, and 5% us.

There's only one family with African roots there,
Hadda go and be mine, what a fuckin' nightmare,
Told my dad, "Might as well move to Alaska, dontcha think?"
Coulda gotten used to the cold and the folks up there.
And he said, "What the hell, you joshin' me boy? 'S gonna be all right."

Yeah right. First day at school when I was six
Bawling my eyes out, cuz o' those little pricks
You know what they called me?
Yo Africoon, yo banjo lips.
Yo, little Sambo--
Outta the mouths of those kids came their parents' licks.

[Refrain x 2]
I ain't from the hood, but the beat's my own,
From the big city neither but from Marly-Gomont
The place ain't paved, the pastures are green
But you wouldn't believe the trash I've seen.

In Marly-Gomont there's no ghetto-talkin' stuff,
A little twang like this, that's good enough
Sometimes they like you,
"I don't like the Arabs, don't like no black.
but I like you fine, even though you're black."

Once in a while, they talk politics, you see
and maybe also philosophy
Anyway, what I say is, they're a rotten bunch
In their little one-horse towns, better not get sick
Or else you'll be in real deep shit, gotta go 20 towns away
30 miles or more, to find a hospital or any dman thing
Out there there's nothing but grazing fields.

Sometimes, on Sundays it's our soccer day
The stadium's a field so that's where we play
with lines scratched out, they set up goals and nets
On the local team, there's always some guy
Named Bubba: go Bubba, go", so they cry.

An' if no Bubba, then on the opposing team,
There's always some guy named Billy-Joe.
Go Billy-Joe, go, go, go!

A typical day out here: the mailman, a tractor, the mailman again, that's it.
Maybe one in a while, a cow goes by.
Moooo

[Refrain x 2]
I ain't from the hood, but the beat's my own,
From the big city neither but from Marly-Gomont
The place ain't paved, the pastures are green
But you wouldn't believe the trash I've seen.

And in nursery school, I was the only black
and in primary school, was the only black
and in middle school I was the only black
From pre-school to junior high, they were on the attack
I got beat outside or in 'most every day,
but Dad always said, "Son: no fighting, okay?".

You know I wanted to rebel, torch something to settle some scores,
But we've got one bus for school, same for the center outdoors,
No point burning your neighbor's car
They don't even have one, they all got motorized bikes
And you know, the bakery, it's 5 miles away
5 miles? Every morning? On the motorized bike?

You know I wanted to rebel, see something burn,
But with only bus for school,there was nowhere to turn,
No point torching your neighbor's car
They won't even have one, they got motorized bikes
And what's more the bakery, it's 5 miles away
5 miles? Every morning? On a motorized bike?

Hey do you know where Vincent's gone?
Did he sneak off somewhere without telling anyone?
Naah, we got nothin like that 'round here, eh,
He's just off somewhere on the motorized bike, hey
Motorized bikes are the backwoods subway car
So, get with the beat, the beat that goes rum tum tum

Dedicated to everyone who comes from the boonies
From some little one-horse town
You don't see no one there rappin aroun'
Not even a riff
A little hayseed town
Life goes on, they don't know you exist
Nobody knows your little one-horse town.
Not even that Osgood.stiff.

[Refrain]
I ain't from the hood, but the beat's my own,
From the big city neither but from Marly-Gomont
The place ain't paved, the pastures are green
But you wouldn't believe the trash I've seen.

Yo!

-----
tr. note:

Yes, I know that "le beat est bon" means "the beat is good", and I know Panam is Paris (I lived there) and all the rest. Translation is an art, not a science, and verse translation even more so, if you want to preserve rhyme and meter.

One note about Jean-Pierre Pernaut (line 7 of the original French lyrics): JPP is a TV journalist who does the afternoon news show and usually includes spots about culture and crafts from small towns he visits from all over the country. So, the point here is that for a town to be unknown *even* to JPP, means it's *really* remote.

This is a case where a translator's work is well-nigh impossible: you could either just leave the original name alone, in which case English-speaking readers would just scratch their heads, or you could subsitute in the name of an English-speaking journalist who also goes out to all the small towns. Charles Osgood is such a journalist on American TV. This is not a very satisfactory solution for a number of reasons: he's not French, and he's unknown outside of the U.S., just as JPP is unknown outside of France. It's what I chose, but I can see plenty of reasons for doing it differently.

Posted by: Peter | Dec 9, 2006 8:38:14 PM

great translation. thanks

Posted by: bonnie | Jan 8, 2007 3:02:21 AM

Nice translation Peter, I can see how you stuck to the original lyrics, but made them rhyme in english. I really like it.

Posted by: Laurel | Jan 28, 2007 3:55:24 PM

http://del.icio.us/ethanz/language?setminposts=5 thanks for your great translation ..another literall one at the above link.
Studying paroles is a good way 4 me to get to understand the language,here with some culture attatched!

Posted by: deb | Mar 15, 2007 1:19:56 AM

mm and the video is no longer available on youtube...who nicked it?

Posted by: deb | Mar 15, 2007 1:24:36 AM