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Interviews Meet 'SHAKE' from France
Meet 'SHAKE' from France PDF Print E-mail
Written by Robert ID590   
Saturday, 18 December 2004 21:00



SHAKE - ''Love Truth and Party''



Hoping to introduce you to upcoming rap artist and hip-hop talent, I have gone to the west coast. I have gone to the east coast; this time lets go to France.


Now you say France for good ol'' rap and hip-hop? Once I introduce you to this artist you will wonder why you have not heard of him.


Born in Paris, France he has deep Senegalese roots. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and this young artist bares the mind of one who was raised with the values of love and respect.


Born Cheikh Diop aka SHAKE, is unique and very fresh. The sounds of this young man can put you in the mind of maybe an early Death Row cut with Jewell in the background.


His album ‘Love Truth & Party’ has many great tracks on it. His flow is reminiscent to a ‘mellow’ Tupac. No he is not a Tupac want ta be, his flow highlighting is like Tupac’s. The tracks So Good and Paradise City will show you that.


The background vocals are laid by a sweet strong voiced female who will remind you of Jewell. Also there is a brother laying backgrounds who is as strong a sound as any background vocals you can find.


But enough cd review. Lets introduce you to SHAKE.


*Please remember SHAKE is from France, and since I do not change or ‘twist’ anything an artist says and this was done email because of the distance between us, his writing may be a little different. But believe me his flow is as tight as anything you can find anywere.)


And if your interested in learning more of SHAKE or ordering a copy of his album please visit his web site http://shakeu.free.fr/  




Robert – Thanks for your time SHAKE.


SHAKE – cool man


Robert - I know your 19 years old and going to school. What are you taking in school?


SHAKE – I’m studying commercial activities, and economy in paris, it’s interesting …..


Robert – How is it you got into hip-hop?


SHAKE – It’s a long story man, when I was around 9years old, i had my brother  which went to the usa, and he  brought me many cd’s and mix tape from over there, with nyc rappers like heltah skeltah, mobb deep, blah zay blah zay,….. . so step by step , I started get in the hip hop culture , thanks to my brother and people all around me, I mean,  with the hip hop tv show , in my school I borrowed some cd’s and videos, and when I had sports competitions, dj’s put everytime on the turntable some hip hop shit to entertain you know , 12 years old , after my first stay in the usa ( California),I’m fallen in the west coast vibe !!! ( the dove shack, foezum, dj quick,mausberg, messy marv, daz,…)  so I still was influenced by this music and mainly by the US hip hop, even if there is a French market , I walked wit guys who was in this culture ( breakdance, graff,…..)

And further to that I started to put some freestyles in french,……  so now hip hop is in me!! 


Robert – Is hip-hop a big music area in France?


SHAKE – it ain’t, because hip hop In france is not as considered as in the usa. There is a small market with a  twentieth of independent labels and one hip hop channel tv: it’s not enough!!!

And If you wanna have a chance to be professional , you ‘re compelled to get sign on a major , yeah it’s a small music area. I don’t know if we can call it an area , because if you’re not in this closed family, you can''t be invited on projects (compilations, mix tapes), they don’t judge your talent but your past , but how can you have a past , if you don’t have a chance, it’s crazy!!!

There is many rappers who release only one single and after go away!!

For me this market is a mess, and everybody do the same thang


Robert – Which U.S. rappers or hip hop groups are hot in France?


SHAKE – all hip hop groups or rappers which are hot in your country become it in france , 4-5 months later, for instance, it’s 50 cent, fat joe and terror squad, nas,only real niggaz!!

French radio stations prefer the east coast artists except when it’s famous guys from the west as snoop dogg, xzibit….


Robert – You have said that you want to be the first African to enter the US hip-hop charts. How deep do the ties to Senegal run in your life?


SHAKE – I never lived in Senegal , but I still deep in this culture, cause of my parents born over there, my friends,…. I use to eat some senegaleses meats, to talk in wolof

( senegalese dialect) at home, so I’m in it , and I’m really glad to be a Senegalese man.

But I never had the chance to go in this country , for many reasons what I don’t want talk about it, but soon or later , I will   .


Robert – Senegal was ruled by France upto the late 60’s I believe; is that how you ended up in France?


SHAKE – it’s because the unemployment and misery in Africa, after the colonization, my parents decide to go in paris to escape to this situation, and because there were many jobs here, further to the war, everything need to be rebuild in france and the rest you know it…


Robert – What are your thoughts on the political and social problems in Africa today?


SHAKE – I’m really sad about this situation cause after all those years , I don’t see any change : dictators still rule their country and rob the people, there is no sharing, all the people, fighting for the peace , are directly killed . I really ‘d like to make something in Africa, but I think I need to know more the business  before to try something . for me there is a hope , so I keep faith


Robert – I know that even though Senegal is in West Africa, the love shown by South Africans to rap and hip hop is enormous. Recently I was privileged to help a little with a 72 hour marathon put on by Nappy Heads dotorg  in South Africa. They have some amazing talent there also. Have you investigated the market in South Africa as well as the US?


SHAKE – no , really , I never think about it , but we will talk about it ………….


Robert – You have been to the U.S.;  How was that for you, and how were you received?


SHAKE – it was one of the best thing of my life !!

American public is so hot!! And if they think you got a talent  you don’t need to be a star to be applause and appreciate, I really enjoy there, I was in  open of a world music artist, so at the beginning , I thought it will be hard to me to mix my style , wit him, even if I like challenge, but I was so flabbergasted by the result man!! After this tour , I found a couple touring firm, but they told me I need to find a label, to finance me , to stay in the usa, so I’m still in contact wit’em, even if I’m back to paris.And after that we meet some important people workin in the us majors, to start a deal, cause many people was really motivated to work wit us ( to sign us, in major) but after the start of iraq war , relations between American and French government were so bad , so unfortunately, this conflict touched music world, and the ceo has  broken our future collaboration. And  after that , I say god damn!!! is it hopeless?? I also lost my luggages to the airport at my return( curse or not??) But I keep faith, and I gone come back wit new materials, and work hardly to find a label , believing in me


Robert – About the album: Who did the production and the beat making?


SHAKE – me and my man sabolous, compose all the instrumentals by computer, and we given our work to a real musician, Borrina Mapaka, to replay everything, that’s why this album got a “Live color” wit west coast feelings mainly.

As anyboby in france was ready to sign us and finance us, we have done it to ourselves, so this product Is strictly independent .


Robert – The album seems to have a ‘gentleness’ to it; which is good and different. Is that a reflection of the real SHAKE?


SHAKE – yeah, definitely, this album represent the real SHAKE, wit his flavour, his inspiration, it’s a part of me, and I’m really proud of it. I keep the same flow, but I’m not afraid to try to put on “heavy “beats. I already done it for some French projects


Robert – Where was it recorded at?


SHAKE – everything was recorded in a home studio at Paris, except 2 tracks recorded at san Francisco , and mastered there too.


Robert – Has your ‘flow’ ever been compared to that of Tupac Shakur?


SHAKE – yes, many times, that’s why many people in paris don’t really wanna work wit me, they say i’m just a bad copy of tupac, but it’s wrong, of course, he’s one of my inspiration, but I really keep my identity, my flow, and I’m makin my way , wit a big shot to tupac , cause he was the one for me, and never could replace it . rest in peace


Robert – Who are the other people we hear on the album? That is a great strong backup you have.


SHAKE – Jo.L  is a friend of mine, and Borrina is a singer I met by an another friend , I write lyrics for him , cause I love write. On this album, I only collaborate wit friends, and I hope in the future I ‘ll work wit more, more, more people from everywhere


Robert – The back up artist seem to be of the quality to be solo artist also.


SHAKE – sure it is,


Robert – Is the album available to those who what to get it?


SHAKE – sure, but when we have sold  it in the usa, it was after the stage, so we never put cd’s in stores, except in france, where the album was in the FNAC( French big music store), it is now out of stock, but we have a hundred to give some influent people, and to sell by mail order business , so if somebody want a cd , we can send it to you by mail from paris, remember!


Robert – What kind of music do you listen to; and which artists?


SHAKE –I listening many kind of music, mainly hip hop , r’nb, and African music,

As hip hop artists : more west coast rappers(mc eiht, south central cartel, dj quick, tupac, above the law, messy marv, luni coleone, yukmouth, mac dre(R.I.P)…………), or somewhere ( lil jon, timbaland,jay-z) As r’nb :tyrese,ginuwine, r Kelly, Justin timberlake, k-ci and jojo……… African music : mory kanté,youssou n’dour, fatou guewel, babaa maal,…..



Robert – What do you see and think about the U.S. hip-hop and rap scene?


SHAKE I think hip hop was born in your  country, so you got  a very good market you’re the reflect of this music , it’s a various market, where each style ( slow, fast, hardcore,laidback) ,each community ( latino, black, white, Chinese ) , each coast ( west, east, south, north ) are represented. And wit this power , you’ll keep the 1st place forever. Even independents don’t need majors to live to their passions , to have a public , hip hop music is a real business wit a real empire, contrary to here where hip hop have a negative reflect. The proof is when some US artists perform in france,they often cancelled( tha liks, xzibit, fat joe, tyrese,……)


Robert – On your album, what track would you say best shows your all around talent?


SHAKE – “guess who’s comin?”, “liar”


Robert – Which track is your favorite? 


SHAKE - So good


Robert – If you could collaborate with any U.S. rappers; who would you like to get into the studio with and why?


SHAKE – for a west coast vibe: an artist like dj battlecat because for me it’s one of  my best producer of this generation or dj quick, cause it’s so talented and everything what he touched change in gold or 50 cent , cause he got a supa supa flow, and I like everything what he does


Robert – Do you have any future places on coming back to the U.S.?


SHAKE –we’re discussing wit many people to find the better way to come back and to make something big  there . so keep your ears and your eyes open!! but I am ready for any propositions...


Robert – Is your hope that a U.S. or a major record company hears this album and acts on what they hear?


SHAKE – of course, that’s something we hope, but that’s a passion too , and soon or later I hope this hard work will pay.


Robert – Have you done many shows in France?


SHAKE – not really , around 40, I think , but I love stage, so for me it will not never be enough.


Robert – How is your music received in France?


Shake – very well, about my family, my friends and public, but

About music industry, they reproached me to play ”the American”, and to copy “2 pac”

So I don’t care, and I’m leadin my way


Robert – Along with being a rapper comes the responsibility of being a voice for those that can’t be heard. Do you feel good rap and hip-hop tracks can be made even if they contain a ‘social’ message?


SHAKE – Of course, cause the 1st rule of hip hop is to deliver a message, and for me all the songs contain a “social” message,  if you don’t deliver a message, social or else, even if it’s a dance song, your music no got sense


Robert – Well I must say that I was very surprised with the album. I find myself listening to it a lot. It is very good. What are your future plans and are there more albums on the way?


SHAKE –now i ‘m recording 4 days per week , and i’m also studying, i put on some compilations ,but i’m mainly focused to prepare a demo in France to send it to  labels, and prepare my next travel in the usa , to meet some labels, ready to get sign me , in order to start a real career


Robert – I would hope people give you a shot and at least hear your music. It is fresh and very exciting to hear. Do you have any shout outs or anything that needs to mentioned I have missed?


SHAKE -  yeah big shot to all my family , my nigga sabolous, my trust man, man-her, bkspy , Jo.L and for all the independent and unsigned artists, never stop to dream, you will reach your goal? Keep faith, that’s my word.


Robert – I appreciate you taking time for this and for ‘reaching out’ to me. The album is something I have been listening to a lot here lately; and it shows that there are new ideas in the hip hop culture and that we do not have to just accept the same old thing the majors keep feeding us.


SHAKE – Sure


Robert If you ever come back to the U.S, please let me know and if nothing else I will call you and we can chew it up a bit.


SHAKE – thanks Robert for your support , god bless you.


Robert – Well again I thank you for your time; and for the music. I found it very enjoyable and I will be watching for more from you. All the best. Peace - 1


SHAKE – you’re welcome,


 Visit SHAKE on his web site http://shakeu.free.fr/



Interviews Meet 'SHAKE' from France

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