It’s a funny armada led by a masked singer. Stupeflip delivers its 5th album in twenty years of career, Stup Forever, and operates a well-controlled return to basics. Where we passionately follow the adventures of King-Ju, vigilante who produces sound loops full of images, behind his computer, and his funny friends.
The cover of Stupeflip’s fifth disc almost reminds us of Don Quixote. Riding his faithful horse with a hallucinated gaze, one would readily imagine Julien Barthélémy, alias King-Ju, fighting the windmills and enjoying them, with this Stup Forever, to preach the good word.
“Don Quixote, it’s not really wanted, he corrects. I just wanted a heroic image. I sometimes see myself as a knight, but a knight of the impossible.” Breaking gently with a previous episode which was a blockbuster, it delivers a record anchored in the 1990s.
The Stupeflip CROU (1) will never die, as he repeats all the time, and continues his adventures like a cartoon. Wasn’t he supposed to lay down his arms five years ago? “It’s so funny because people only remembered that!exclaims King-Ju. But Stupeflip is a dream! It’s totally out of time! I don’t care a bit about people, I play with people. I make a course like a small maze. And in the end, I say the exit was not there. It’s just because my character says, ‘It’s finish’that this is the end.”
A singer unmasked in his lyrics
Throughout those fifty minutes, this one-man band is having a blast. It summons the ghosts of Public Enemy like old American rap. With In your Walkman, King-Ju poses the terms of the debate in an anachronistic way. For once, he abandons his disengaged position and denounces misogyny. Never exactly where you expect him, Julien Barthélémy claims not to have waited for #MeToo to think about that. “We often talk about the victims, who are the women, but we don’t make the men talk”he presses.
Pieces between rap and rock with caustic humor, funny montages, and ego trip… We find the little mythology and the recurring characters of the CROU, Cadillac and MC Salo. There is also this brave Pop-hip, who dies and resurrects every time. “Pop-hip is a parody of music from the 80s. These songs, I do them very seriously, but in the end, it’s a joke, explains King-Ju. I make a very dark, deep album, and at some point, I freak out! That’s why the community doesn’t really understand me. I’m not the guy you’re going to invite on a TV show to talk about a subject.”
To those who believe that Stupeflip is just a parody, just listen carefully to its Strange Phenomena to be convinced of the contrary! If he constantly blurs the tracks, it is a Julien Barthélémy without a mask that we discover in his back and forth between reality and science fiction. “Nothing is second degree! I can be blamed for talking a lot about myself. But it’s interesting to talk about what we know. I am my own laboratory, I have experienced things and I transcribe them. Afterwards, I’m a little ashamed, there are things that are a little immodest because I ran out of texts”he continues.
sounds like pictures
Since his first tube full of self-mockery, I smoke pu d’shitand its dark counterpart, I smoke weed, the songs on cannabis are a must for “Stup”. The song is called here So good and translates the ambivalent relationship to the thing of this genius musician and designer, who spends his time creating music on his computer while smoking joints. “There are few people who produce images with their music, apart from Booba. Me, I know that my music creates images for the listener. Unfortunately, it goes a bit with smoking. As soon as I stop smoke and a week later I start again, I have a billion ideas in my head”, he explains.
Never satisfied with his work, King-Ju sees the life of a musician as making records. After stopping the scene in 2013 and refusing to perform in Zeniths and Bercy, he no longer wishes to go back on stage. “Me, I’m masked, and I don’t want to expose myself at all. I find it badly ill-mannered, he said. What right does a guy have to make a sound and go see his fans, telling them: ‘Oh, I love you!’ ? For me, one of the most pathetic songs is My most beautiful love story, from Barbara. She doesn’t know her fans and her fans don’t know who she is deep down.”
This does not prevent the slightly dreamy, but frankly sensitive guy from being well followed on the internet and even from having a universe of his own in the Minecraft video game. At 54, Julien Barthélémy hardly has a wrinkle on his face. He became an adult, but forgot to grow up completely, and that is perhaps the most touching thing.
(1) The CROU is a diversion from the hip hop crew.
Stupeflip Stup Forever (Dragon Accel 2) 2022