Bilingual rapper French The Kid looks for balance on “White Wine”

As a young boy French The Kid moved around a lot, calling east London, Australia, and Tolouse, France home at various stages. While in Tolouse he made friends with immigrant kids from Algeria and Morrocco who turned him onto the local rap scene, including PNL. The nomadic lifestyle bleeds into his raps, a mix of tough and cheeky bars that can easily flip into French. He’s a U.K. rapper who likes to keep listeners on their toes, equal parts cockney geezer and smooth-talker whose wordplay-heavy verses have resulted in a memorable Daily Duppy freestyle and debut mixtape Never Been Ordinary already this year.

Today he returns with a new song, “White Wine,” along with a playful video to accompany it. On the track French rides a tough M1OnTheBeat (Drake, Headie One) production that offsets heavyweight drums with a flute sample that dances between his vocal delivery. Lyrically he’s caught between worlds. One one side are his loved ones: “My blood my family, that’s my lifeline.” On the other is criminal activity: “Mobsters in my section flying blow.” With a deceptively soft drawl, he floats between these worlds, trying to find equilibrium.

The video, meanwhile, mixes a flirty game of tennis with nods to French’s working class background. It has been incorrectly claimed that he comes from a traveller background but in reality he spent time in Essex with the community as neighbors. They are acknowledged with the memorable sight of a horse and carriage going through a McDonalds drive-thru.

Speaking to The FADER via email, French said: “‘White Wine’ is hopefully one of those tracks you have on repeat. I loved what M1 did on the instrumental, so I hope I did it justice. Loads more music and fresh sounds from me to come. Love to all the fans that play my shit.”