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PAM presents: Eesah Yasuke, samurai from Roubaix

From fractured lives to resilience, Eesah Yasuke, a steady rapper from Roubaix, tells her story in a new PAM documentary, by Narjes Bahhar.

Trained as a journalist and armed with many years of experience in the field with Mouv’ Radio, among others, Narjes Bahhar is now in charge of French rap at Deezer. A missile in the heart of the rapological “new school”, she discovered Eesah Yasuke while working on a publication: “her writing style, the way she expressed herself, her voice… I was immediately seduced by the character” remembers the director. “I found that Eesah was also very different from the current scene. Her jazz influences, her forays into rock, give her music a very unique edge.” But it was in her environment, during the realization of the film Eesah Yasuke, the Samurai from Roubaix that Narjes is came to understand what really touched her about the young rapper: “Eesah is an artist born of poetry, but I was unaware of it before I met her. I didn’t know that until I met her, but when I listened to her, I realized what I liked about her. The precision of the words she chooses, this will to be as true to herself as possible… There is an integrity, a quest for truth in her music that touched me a lot” confides the director.

© Cécile Acolet / Milkshoot

“Taking care of myself came through music.”

After the successful launch of her eight track Cadavre Exquis in 2021, Eesah Yasuke has just closed a triptych of singles with “Mythologie”, “Fuck1rsa” and “NGR”. This summer, she shared the stage at the Demi Festival in Sète, alongside the most illustrious rappers of France, scheduled between Nessbeal, Rockin’ Squat, Médine or Rocé

 In the beginning, however, Rap was far from Eesah: initially destined to become a professional sprinter, she was suddenly placed in a foster home. Books became her other refuge. From break-ups to trials, she became an educator in a reception center. Writing and poetry are then invited in her life: “writing poems allowed me to exult, to externalize, it was like an emergency […] at a moment of my life, I needed to take care of myself, and it went through music“says the young rapper in the documentary, third film of the collection “Off the Map” produced by PAM

Among Eesah’s bedside books is Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey: “anything but a coincidence,” comments the director. “Hearing Eesah’s rugged life path is clearly an experience of adversity. Her life trajectory is built around overcoming.

© Cécile Acolet / Milkshoot

A philosophy of overcoming, inspired by Ulysses, Tupac and the samurai Yasuke

Of overcoming, but also of resurrection. And the words “resilience” and “healing” are not mentioned randomly in Narjès’ film: “her strong relationship to sports, her admiration for an iconic figure like Tupac, the initiatory journey of Ulysses, as well as the addition to her artist’s name of Yasuke, a black slave who became a samurai in sixteenth century Japan… Artistically, Eesah summons around her figures who have themselves transcended their condition.”

A life condition initially started in Roubaix, a city full of pitfalls: “Roubaix is the setting of our documentary. It made Eesah what she is today. The city has carried her and still does. But from now on, Roubaix is only the spectator of a heroine’s journey who has become emancipated. From now on, Eesah’s place in all this history has become much more important than her original place.

 Ripping oneself away from one’s condition: a new rapological motto for a samurai of the asphalt. “Eesah’s odyssey has just begun,” says director Narjes Bahhar. “With her wide musical influences and her serious taste for instrumentation, the rapper’s journey will, I’m sure, take her on the road to concert halls and festivals. Eesah expressed herself live from the start. Her presence at the Half Portion festival is only the beginning. Many other stages will follow… Until her first album is released!”

 While waiting for the continuation of the odyssey of Eesah, meet her in Eesah Yasuké, the Samurai from Roubaix, a film by Narjes Bahhar with the Milkshoot team, produced by Pan African Music / IDOL MEDIA. With the support of CNC Talent.

Eesah Yasuke and Narjes Bahhar © Cécile Acolet / Milkshoot