Marseilles (AFP)

Olympique de Marseille and BMG are launching a rap, R&B and pop label, OM Records, a first for a football club in France, the Ligue 1 vice-champion and the record company announced jointly Thursday.

To launch the union between the sports giant and the major of the record, a double-decker bus circulated in the streets of Marseille with some rap stars on board such as Alonzo or DJ Djel, the DJ of Soprano, who mixed throughout travel.

All black, the bus sported the label's logo, modeled on that of OM, and the motto "Marseille rap takes back its rights, to the goal", taking up the club's mantra, "Straight to the point".

"Once again, we're forever first," laughs the Vile Hollis.

"It's good that the club does that", this project "is the summary of our city", the union between rap, "the art of our life", and OM, explains to AFP the rapper, with sharp features like an Indian warrior, unmasked during the interview.

- "Historic wedding" -

He like all the artists on the bus or on the compilation are crazy about their football club.

"I believe that even before I was born I was an OM supporter, it's in the genes", laughs Hollis, "proud" to wear the OM Records logo on his sweater.

"This marriage is historic and will make noise," Alonzo told AFP.

This label, "this is a great first, the links are strong between rap and OM and between rap and football itself," adds Soprano's former partner to Psy 4 de la rhyme, hidden under his anti-Covid mask and his cap with the three wise monkeys.

The first album produced is due for release on November 13.

It will be a compilation, baptized Friday the 13th, and produced by another Marseille label, B18, created by four young people from the northern districts a year ago.

We will hear original songs from big names in rap, including Marseille mega stars Soprano and Jul, but also Rat Luciano, and young shoots like Lebeey or Fz, who are recording for the first time.

- "Marseille, cradle of rap" -

The label, based in Marseille and headed by Émilie Hauck, artistic director, is set up as a joint venture between OM and BMG, "at 50-50, she explained to AFP. This is the first time. in the world that a major of the disc and a club like the OM join to create a label ".

The agreement also provides for BMG to become OM's exclusive musical partner, with a license agreement so that the club can use its catalog for its internal and external content.

"The goal of this partnership with OM is to offer new opportunities to established artists, emerging talents and artist collectives from Marseille, the South of France in the broad sense and even Africa", explains in a press release from the CEO of BMG France, Sylvain Gazaignes.

"Marseille has been a cradle of rap and French hip-hop since IAM," added OM president Jacques-Henri Eyraud in this press release.

"The links between OM and local artists have been strong for years, continues + JHE +. The launch of OM Records completes this link and symbolizes the club's desire to promote the unique energy that emerges throughout the world. of Marseille and its inhabitants. "

The owner of the OM, the American Frank McCourt, was looking for an idea like this "for three years, he had approached me to imagine a partnership between BMG and OM", explains the vice-president in a press release. record label executive Jon Loeffer.

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