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French hip-hop duo Nysay paired MCs Salif and EXS, childhood friends who began teaming on music during the mid-'90s. Members of the so-called Denzel Zoo collective alongside rappers Diomay and Granit Gehören, their continued partnership seemed in grave doubt when in 1999 Salif cut a solo deal with the IV My People label, although EXS remained a close collaborator on Salif's subsequent solo sessions. Nysay officially reunited in 2003 to release their debut mixtape, Starting Blocks, followed a year later by L'Asphaltape. After co-founding their own Starting Blocks label (a subsidiary of IV My People), Nysay finally completed their proper debut LP, 2006's Au Pied du Mur. ~ Jason Ankeny