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Born in Cameroon and raised in France, OL1KU (Alain Banag) has been active on the French urban scene since 1997 with KU2H (Coup de hache) based in Nanterre, a Parisian district. Based in Montreal since 2000, he quickly joined the ranks of Architekts and their extended 13th Floor family (Sans Pression, Cobna, Joe BG). He has participated in many of their projects, music videos and important shows such as FrancoFolies and a tour of Quebec with Faf Larage and Shurik'n (IAM).

Much appreciated lyricist and elite MC, OL1KU released his first solo album "The Distance" to hip hop and reggae rhythms, with a touch of tribal dance. A personal testimony of his long journey - as the title of the album indicates - from Africa to the deep attachment to his new homeland - which he proudly represents as Quebec champion Tae Kwon-do-OL1KU also dedicates a touching song to his little daughter Léane. His core values shine throughout the album: family, cultural diversity, integration and inclusion.

To achieve his goal, artists from a wide range were invited to appear on the album, from Ray Ray (The Architekts), Montreal-based hip hop meisters who also produced and mixed the album and DJ Choice ( ex-Dubmatique), the future techno producer Reagan Gray, Koudjo (Rohff), born in Benin, and Sakke, the best drummer in Finland, Finland. Her support and admiration for female artists can be seen with the cameos of French rap star Princess Aniès, Italian-Quebecer MC Dee (Atach Tatuq) and Jamaican toaster Kya Kindu. Other well-known collaborators are Paul Cargnello (ex-Vendettas), Gardy Fury (ex-ONE, the first group of Corneille), Frenchi Blanco (FP Crew) and Nairobi, the Bamboo of Kenya (K-Sud), said the "king of African hip hop".

“Bridge Builder:… French MC OL1.KU has managed to rise through the ranks of Quebec rap to its humble zenith in a relatively short period of time and is now comfortable with some of the more hardcore players in the game.” - Josh Dolgin . Time

“From his arrival in Montreal in 2000… the talent of a writer and the particular flow of the rapper attracted the attention of the artistic community” –Sébastien Tétrault. HERE, Strong heads 2005


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