The town of Les Ulis is a major centre for rap, and has left its mark on the history of this music. On a mainstream level, with Sinik in particular, but also on an underground level, with the huge rap / battle scene that has sprung up in the town. Gambino La MG is the heir to this great school, and he continues to honor the 91 with talent. Focus on the phenomenon.

Rise through networks

As is often the case in rap, the area in which the rapper grew up is important: his music is nourished by his environment, which is very urban for the most part, and the lyrics constantly evoke the setting in which the artist cut his teeth. For Gambino La MG, he was rather "lucky" for a rapper: he grew up in Les Ulis, one of the best-known neighborhoods for rap fans, not least because of Sinik's incredible success in the 2000s, which clearly put the town on the map. His individual commercial success hides a host of other talented rappers from the same town, forming a very dynamic rap scene, particularly in the underground and battle scenes. The city is loaded with rap, and the young rapper obviously drew on this energy to launch his career. In fact, it was thanks to the large number of rappers in Les Ulis that he was able to form his first group, La MG (for "Mauvaise Graine"). It started out as a simple Facebook page where all the youngsters in his town who wanted to rap signed up. Later, the more serious ones decided to form a real group, keeping the initials, in order to make real tracks.

For Gambino La MG, this has long been a serious undertaking, having discovered rap through his father and uncles and posting his first sounds on Youtube at the age of 13, under a different pseudonym. He was even supervised by Sinik during his very first recording at the municipal studio. With his group, he quickly experienced his first big buzz with "Rentre dans le 91" in 2018. A number of artists, sportsmen and influencers began relaying tracks by Gambino and his pals, including Niska, Virgil Abloh and Anthony Martial, to whom they dedicated a track in 2018. But it's hard to turn buzz into streams and revenue. And the rapper from 91 is going to take advantage of the confinement to give everything he's got via social networks. He began a series of freestyles on Instagram, which quickly caught on, with some tracks surpassing one million views. He was one of the first to import the drill sound to France, adding a few Afro tones to the mix to create some very distinctive sounds, both very gangsta and very danceable. A niche that has been adopted by most of today's successful Rap FR artists, proving that the young Gambino was a bit of a visionary. 

Throughout his career, networks have played a vital role. Firstly, social networks, with Facebook, then Instagram for his freestyles, but also the network of the street, the network of Les Ulis, which means that the local musical players are all very connected. After a first project called "En attendant Gambinerie", which brought together all his freestyles, this year we were treated to the long-awaited "Gambinerie", released in March, which lived up to all its promises. Tiakola, Negrito, Larry, Chily, Naza, Leto - many of them answered the call of the young prodigy from '91 for a dense project that augurs very good things for the future. In the meantime, Gambino la MG continues to unveil highly effective unreleased tracks, such as "Les Moussos" recently. He has also stepped up the number of interviews, and is working more and more on the image of his clips. An aspect that interests us a lot at Project X Paris.

The PXP x Gambino La MG collab

Because even though we do a lot of collabs, what we like best is when the artists let loose, feel at ease and have an attitude that inspires our graphic artists and designers. This was the case with Gambino la MG, who has long understood the importance of image, particularly in the drill. We started slowly with pieces that are classics in just about every situation: "university" streetwear, with these sapes that hark back to the clothes worn by American students to show their allegiance to their University. So we have a hoodie college style with a big "P" logo on the chest, two-tone, and jogging bottoms in the same style, also with a big logo on the upper right leg. This ensemble was enhanced by the small pair of TNs worn by the rapper, as well as by the pretty white Lamborghini, the star of the shoot, which obviously pleased the artist, who also has one in his latest video "Les Mousso".

Lambo again accompanied us on the next outfit, which is a little more out of the ordinary and with a much lighter style. Make way for pale hues and the softness of the dove with this ensemble from the High Fly capsule. Loose-fitting blue dove-patterned tracksuit bottoms, with a round-neck sweatshirt of the same color, for a very effective look. All the more so when you add a PXP bob and the shoulder bag square with purse, adorned with "Project X Paris" logos. And of course, there's always this pair of TNs, a cult piece of streetwear characteristic of French streetwear, where the model was a huge success when it could be practically shunned elsewhere in the 2000s. Then, to get a little more into the artist's "drill UK" universe, we decided to put the Lambo away and call on another vehicle, perhaps less on the side, but just as aggressive: the Yamaha snowmobile. A vehicle that fits in perfectly with the down jackets and parkas from the "Drill & Drip" capsule, tried on during the shoot. They're not yet available on the site, but they'll be a must-have this winter!

Gambino the MG then tried on an outfit from the "Squad" capsule. A very American capsule in design, with the distinctive typography of the logo, the cuts of the garments and the shape of the collars. The outfit and colors evoke the gansgta imagery of US rap, mainly East Coast, with this baseball influence, but also the presence of a ski mask, gangsta accessory par excellence, particularly since the arrival of drill. A striped, baseball-style hoodie with tuned jogging bottoms, the black ski mask proudly mounted on the Yamaha: Gambino has a crazy attitude, just like in his music videos. So it was a real pleasure to work with him and try to come up with something that suits him, wishing him all the best for the rest of his long career. And we hope to work with him again in the near future!