You are about to see or you have seen “Validated”, the first series on French rap. But do you know who is the director, the actors and who wrote the music? Wondering if there will be a season 2? Everything you need to know about the Franck Gastambide event series.
As we know, rap is now officially the first music in France, the most listened to and the most streamed. Gims filled the Stade de France, Soprano sold out at the Vélodrome stadium, Booba refueled at La Défense Arena, PNL and Orelsan sold out at the AccorHotel Arena. And yet, French rap still didn’t have its own series. Oblivion repaired with Valid, the new series which started on March 20 on Canal +. Here is all you need to know about this series of 10 episodes of 30 minutes that hits the target (6 million views in 5 days according to Canal +) and that we personally validated after having swallowed it in three days.
1What is the pitch?
Valid recounts the upset rise of Apash, a young rapper very talented whose talent will make jealous in the medium. Forced and forced, a heavyweight of rap, Mastar, will take him under his wing while multiplying the low blows from behind. Surrounded by his two childhood friends, Apash will also be overtaken by the envious of his neighborhood and Mounir, the big dealer in the city for whom he served as a lookout and who does not want to let this goose that lays the golden eggs escape . “What makes this environment fascinating is thuggery: from disadvantaged and sometimes somewhat violent backgrounds, they (rappers NDLR) continue to have this baggage with them, even when they become superstars“, analyzes director Franck Gastambide. According to a well-known adage of rap: you can get the guy out of the ghetto but not the guy’s ghetto. Hence the tension and violence omnipresent in this series which aims to reveal the back of the Rap Game decor.
2Where does the director come from?
“Hip-hop culture is my life“, repeats the director Franck Gastambide. To his credit so far, three urban comedies: The Kaïras, Pattaya and Taxi 5, cool films. But those who fear that the series Valid or of the same accabit are wrong. Because the director, who says he was inspired by the series Entourage and Gomorra (but also of Ten percent) really changes the register here, with an increasingly dark series with each episode, almost as black and breathless as a thriller. On the other hand, what does not change is the rap universe, which he pegged to the body. This series, he also had the idea when he was in the studio with rappers, including DJ Kore, to compose the soundtrack of Pattaya. And since he is also an actor, he has assigned himself the role of a central character in history, that of producer SNO, a beatmaker with golden fingers that all rappers are snatching up. As a good observer of the environment, he is very convincing. So we can say that Valid is a series made by rap lovers for rap lovers.
3Who plays the main role, that of Apash?
Clément Hatik, 27, plays the main role, that of the reckless young rapper Apash (who looks a lot like the charismatic Moha La Squale). Rapper in real life under the name of Hatik, he was spotted with a first album, Folding chair, released in 2019. It’s her first movie role. Good pick: it explodes on the screen. The director didn’t want a famous rapper. First to prevent a star from cannibalizing the series but also because a famous rapper would have refused “a role where he is mistreated“. However, by Hatik’s own admission, it took a lot of work, not rap but acting.”I worked a lot on the game because accepting being seen as weak at the start of the series is not in the nature of a rapper“, he observes. Franck Gastambide confirms to AFP:”Many rappers play with postures and we had to erase that“On the other hand, Hatik could not, he said, have dreamed of a better role than that of Apash:”I’m pretty close to this character because I know street life by heart“.
4Who are the other players?
In the series, the young rapper Apash is surrounded by two childhood friends: William, the intello of the band who will improvise manager, and Brahim, the “cousin“teubê, cheerful but touching who claims to be responsible for social networks of the rising star and multiplies the blunders. Inspired by the lovebirds of Hatred by Kassovitz, the trio forms an indivisible hard core and constitutes a bubble of freshness sometimes burlesque which preserves the spectator from the darkness of the scenario. If we can regret the very caricatural side of the character of Brahim, which does not reflect the intelligence and the dazzling humor of certain city guys (unlike Hatred), the two actors are impeccable. They are, however, two amateurs: Saïdou Camara (alias William), 25, worked on a construction site and in a McDonald’s before trying his luck in casting, and Brahim Bouhlel (alias Brahim), 24, passed his license to before being spotted by Gastambide. Professional actors surround this endearing trio: Moussa Mansaly (Patients, School life), aka rapper Sam’s in real life, embodies the heavyweight of rap Mastar, an oversized ego impulsive. Adel Benchérif (War of the Worlds, Ad Vitam) is Mounir, the unpredictable and fierce boss of the neighborhood deal, and Sabrina Ouazani (Heart Plan) plays Inès, the voluntary and determined artistic director – in her profile, we find that of the very many women in the shadows who run French rap.
5What elements of reality do we meet there?
We meet in the series many figures from the French Rap Game, which gives a credible and realistic touch. Kool Shen from NTM, Lacrim, Soprano, Gringe, Cut Killer, Rim’K from 113, Mac Tyer or Doc Gyneco, are here in their own roles. Their presence validates in some way Valid and it’s a pride of the director who says he was inspired by anecdotes lived or reported by the rappers he frequents. Three shows and their hosts are also in the script: Fred Musa, the host of Planet Rap, Skyrock’s flagship program, plays a major role in it and appears in several key sequences. Pascal Cefran from Mouv ’radio too. But also Cyril Hanouna from the radio show Touche pas à mon poste, responsible for reviving the intrigue by stoking war between the rappers. “We don’t do a rap series like we would do another series“, underlines Franck Gastambide at the microphone of Allo Ciné.”You have to be sincere, passionate, and well surrounded. I have always been aware that each rapper and Rap Game personality who trusted me by participating in this project bring their image and therefore their credibility to the series, and I am very grateful.”
6Who composed the music?
Coordinated by Moussa Mansaly aka rapper Sam’s (who plays the role of Mastar), the soundtrack contains a few hits. There are three in particular: Valid, co-written by Sam’s and Lacrim, Prison for minors, the overwhelming inaugural title of Hatik / Apash rapped with passion and an impressive flow on Skyrock, but also FLK (Make the Kiffer), the shock duo of Hatik-Sam’s (Apash-Mastar). These three titles, supposed to be hits in the series, are well on their way to becoming so in real life. Composed of 18 songs in total, the soundtrack is the subject of an album available since March 20 in streaming. It includes titles from the series but also others, and brings together a fiddler of rappers, ranging from heavyweights like Ninho, Soprano, Gims or Lacrim, to middleweight like S.Pri Noir, Hornet La Frappe or Rémy, up to young shoots with long teeth such as Bosh (very impressive violence in the series as Karnage, protégé of Mastar), Larry, PSO Thug, Da Uzi and Chily.
7Will there be a season 2?
The answer is yes. Despite (spoiler alert) of a spectacular and unexpected end, Canal + has already ordered a second season of Valid to Franck Gastambide. The shooting is scheduled in principle this summer. France being one of the strongholds of rap in the world, Canal + intends to sell the series abroad under the title All The Way Up. “Very prestigious guests have already given their verbal agreement to be in the series “, entrusts the director to Allociné. “There will be the arrival of a very strong character and a theme in tune with the times. We are already very excited.“Not as much as we SNO …
#Valid absolute record of streamings on @myCANAL and @CanalplusSeries in 5 days. Congratulations to @FGastambide and his team. An addictive series, well played with a crazy soundtrack and above all an authentic series like him # raredanscemeter #tuastalways crudansceprojetettdàrais https://t.co/GMIEuZ4DGn
– Maxime Saada (@maxsaada) March 24, 2020
The ten episodes of the Validated series have been available since March 20 on CANAL + Series and on myCANAL.