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MC Solaar
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MC Solaar - News

What has MC Solaar become ?
18-10-2011 14:27 | 0 comment(s)
MC Solaar 20 years after his phenomenal album Qui Sème Le Vent Récolte Le Tempo, what has become the French rap pioneer ? His latest album Chapitre 7 came out in 2007 & 3 years ago, he put the musical "Les Aventures De Rabbi Jacob". What about now ?

Claude M'Barali aka MC Solaar is one of the first French rappers, with lyrics less violent than his rivals, NTM & Assassin. Claude MC isn't inspired by the city, but by Leonard Cohen & Serge Gainsbourg (he sampled "Bonnie And Clyde" in "Nouveau Western", from his album Prose Combat), African music & American jazz. The French rapper is one of the best-sellers, with more than 5 million copies sold. Everything started in the 90's, after philosophy studies & videos directed by RapLine ("Quartier Nord"), the young man revealed "Bouge De Là" (that sampled Cymande's "The Message"). MC Solaar performed it first in Christophe Dechavanne's TV show "Ciel Mon Mardi !" & the phenomenon started. The single hit the 22th place in 1991, a reference by its flow, its humour & most of all, the first French rap hit.

Watch the video for "Bouge De Là" (1991) here.

Followed by "Victime De La Mode" (N°32 in 1991), the title-track (N°39 in 1992) & "Caroline" (N°4 in 1992), he proved that the "ace of clubs that stings your heart" was more than a summer hit, in a rap style. The rapper's lyrics are also studied abroad (United States, Australia, United Kingdom & Eastern Europe). His albums got exported, he collaborated with the late Guru from Gang Starr for "Le Bien, Le Mal" (N°33 in 1993) & became a French rap reference. Time did thing well, because some young rappers said that they've been influenced by NTM, IAM & also MC Solaar. "I observed very hard critics made on rap. I told myself that it was time to make it trendy again. Well, I succeeded" MC Solaar told the magazine "Serge" in August. "Once that I've been famous, I didn't want to stain rap. Oh la la ! It was hard... I remember having heard "it's variety" or "it doesn't represent", "it's mainstream"... I was between both every time. It was very hard to take my pen. When sweepers waved at me because I represented someone positive for their sons, I told myself "I should be serious, I shouldn't do anything bad, I should go on"..."

Watch the video for "Caroline" (1992) here.

In 1994, MC Solaar released the follow-up of Qui Sème Le Vent Récolte Le Tempo : Prose Combat. The album sold 100,000 copies in only 10 days in France. It has also been a success in 20 countries, with the hits "Nouveau Western" (N°4 in 1994), "Séquelles" (N°19 in 1994) & "Obsolète" (N°29 in 1994).

In 1997, MC Solaar joined the cast of Les Enfoirés. Also, he was on every people magazine because he was in love with... Ophélie Winter. "Now I feel better but before, my press assistants told me what I should do & I wondered what it was for. There was a voice inside me that said "let go, let go"... But Les Enfoirés, it was essential for me. I see that everything isn't black. So many people get together, it's super..." In the late 90's, MC Solaar started a discussion with Pascal Nègre, CEO of Universal Music France. The rapper had a writer's block. Pascal Nègre proposed him a choice : royalties or renegotiating his contract. It wasn't enough, the 2 men didn't agree each other & MC Solaar released 2 albums in 2 years, Paradisiaque in 1997 & MC Solaar in 1998, before leaving Universal. The same year, his live album Le Tour De La Question came out on Warner. However, his first studio album for Warner, Cinquième As, sold 600,000 copies. "Solaar Pleure" & "Hasta La Vista" have both been N°1 (for the first time in his career) in France.

Watch the video for "Solaar Pleure" (2001) here.

Some time later, a trial opposed the artist & his former label Polydor, accusing them of violating his signing by not publishing his second album, 3 months after the masters had been sold. In 2004, the verdict came : the court gave rights to the rapper, even if the rights to sell his 4 albums have been given to... Universal/Polydor. Since 7 years, radios & TVs can't air "Caroline" or "Les Temps Changent" without asking the permission to Pascal Nègre, who didn't agree. 3 years ago, MC Solaar revisited the theme from the film "Les Aventures De Rabbi Jacob", after Gérard Oury's film, with "Rabbi Muffin" (N°20 in 2008). The musical with the same was directed by Patrick Timsit, with Marianne James & of course, music from the film, by Vladimir Cosma.

Watch the video for "Rabbi Muffin" (2008) here.

"It's been years since I made music, I think I'm liking it (laughs). Every time, I let time go... I always postpone... Now, I'm organised. I listen to things, I write... This album won't come out in 2011, but it'll be the same team as Cinquième As" he said to "Serge". To be continued...

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