Profiles

MY LOOK: Local hip hop artist Christian Djohossou, a.k.a. Le R

 This story appears in the Winter edition of Ottawa Magazine, on newsstands now. Click here to subscribe to the print or digital versions. 

Christian is wearing a Scribes & Griots hat, a scarf from an outdoor market in Benin, a Scribes & Griots sweatshirt, a vest he made using fabric from Benin, pants from Ruby X, and shoes from Urban Outfitters. Photo by Jamie Kronick.
Christian is wearing a Scribes & Griots hat, a scarf from an outdoor market in Benin, a Scribes & Griots sweatshirt, a vest he made using fabric from Benin, pants from Ruby X, and shoes from Urban Outfitters. Photo by Jamie Kronick.

Your music is very unique. How would you describe it?
Francophone hip hop or French rap, but more and more, I’m including elements from my country of Benin and my ethnicity, Adja. I have studied a special Agbadja rhythm. It’s very intricate and involves a set of many drums. In the future, I would like to add this to my recordings. For now, I’m getting more involved in the spoken-word scene. I’ve always been attracted to how traditions could survive into modernity. Some aspects of culture in Benin could disappear — it has to do with the tendency for youth to want to move forward, not back. I’m trying to create something for them that is general but uses metaphors and images that are resonant in my life. The aim is to say something that is clever but still accessible. (more…)