I haven't seen La Haine as yet, but it's coming through the post in a couple of days. I love Sofa Cinema and the fact that it sends me lots of films to 'critique'. French Hiphop is my thing at the moment, purely because it managed to largely steer clear of all that 'it's all about the benjamins' bollox that marrs mainstream hiphop.
I know what you mean...there's also something liberating about listening to rap in a language you don't comprehend fully - a mate gave me a CD of Polish hip-hop by a group called Felt Danl (I'm sure it means something profound in Polish) which was ace!
However, listening to one of the Wu-Tang, GZA,'s album 'Liquid Swords' at the moment, and the beats are fantastic.
Ménélik might be worth a listen Melvil... I had a phase of listening to his stuff in the late nineties - (I think ) MC Solaar worked with him I believe. Can't remember the name of the album though... I'll look later!
'La Haine' is once again topical - Paris is upset again...