If you follow the hip-hop stars of America when they’re not on stage or in the studio, you’ll notice that some of them are talented and prolific poker players in their own right. Sure, having the spare change to pull it off doesn’t hurt, but it’s arguable that icons like Jay-Z are truly forces to be reckoned with at the table. So what about the other side of hip-hop, hailing from one of the biggest nations putting their weight behind the genre – France?
One Bruno Lopes might be an unfamiliar name to some hip-hop fans, but in France he’s regarded as one of the most important musical figureheads of the modern era. A co-founder of the French rap movement, he’s had a stellar career performing as Kool Shen, and in a rap group by the name of Supreme NTM. But his most interesting recent work has happened at poker tables, especially those at the World Series of Poker.
It’s not only that, either – if you’re ever on Partypoker.fr; and happen to spot the screen name 93styles93, then more likely than not you’re playing online with Lopes. He’s one of the reasons that the poker scene in France has gone from a smattering of those who play to a huge horde of talented players, and it’s guaranteed that had it not been for his work bringing rap to the masses, he would’ve led less people towards the card-based sport.
So the next time you’re wondering which hip-hop stars might actually make it in the world of poker, you need not only look to the United States – France seems to be representing itself in a very big way.