“Once upon a time, there was no misery.“, this is how the tales of Stavo. Four centuries after those of the illustrious Charles Perrault, no trace of Puss in Boots or Tom Thumb in these stories where HLM have replaced the forests, the small pebbles are made of crack and the seven-league boots have been swapped for Audi RS6s. In the purest moralist tradition, Stavo even comes to formulate the following question: “Do I have to weigh the pros and cons before weighing weed?” A form of perspective to which we were unaccustomed to by Stavo, renowned more for blasting through brutal and ultra-imaged phases the pieces of the 13 blocks.
But before attacking our examination of TVX , let’s go back to the rise to power and solo of the rapper from Sevra. First cartridge fired in 2019 where Stavo appears on “Code 46“, produced by Ikaz Boi. Detached from his crew, we can already see Stavo’s ease in making cryptic lyrics rhyme to weave his bicrave stories. New recidivism with the masterclass “ Numerology ” next to Freeze Corleone in 2020. At the end of 2021, exit the feats, Stavo advances alone in the arena with an EP to the glory of the Decathlon brands – “Kipsta”, or “Kalenji” for the tracklist. A short format on which he continues to practice by boasting more about the exploits of the coalmen than the quality of the Quechua fleeces.
In 2022, Stavo finally arrives on the “rainté” bag filled with 17 titles, in a real condensed darkness. Here, no presence of titles cut to enter agreed rap playlists like a pair of Stan Smiths in a business school. In a short video message, Stavo summarizes TVX in these terms : ” it’s not a zouk or variety album, it’s a trap orgy (…) it’s black, it’s 46 Yamaha “. We have been warned. TVX only tells about the street, the whole street, nothing but the street. An obsession and a universe in a vacuum which, as much as warning, will quickly knock out the most reluctant to this style of total rap.
An air of deja vu therefore, but which in no way diminishes the strike force which Don Stavo can claim. Because the regulars of 13 Block know well the ability of the Sevranais to machine high-flying punchlines, as illustrated by this phase on “Federer“: ” My inspiration ran barefoot/ Yannick Noah on a bicrave pitch “. These formulas of which Stavo has the secret are legion and irrigate this first opus from the first to the last second. Already known and recognized for his very mathematical and geometric way of rhyming, Stavo gives himself to heart joy here, as on this one-two with his sidekick Zefor on “Triad”: “The works, the Triad, in triangle / the bicraveurs, the spotters, the managers / 4-4-2, two towards the attack, Andy Cole and Yorke, to plant / To plant for the platas, the Y3s, the three cushions , the three-quarter Adidas”. Phew.
Unexpected, this TVX nevertheless remains one of the very good surprises of vintage French rap 2022. We can well pout in front of a few dispensable titles, the whole remains no less coherent and controlled. An album which also shows us that Stavo is not just a simple bulldozer with punchlines but knows how to turn into a meticulous craftsman of rap game.
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TVX – Stavo | the review of Taste My Records
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