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    MC Solaar

    Become fan 1 Rate 8 Like & Share
    Genre:Pop, Hip-Hop
    3.8/5 from 8 users

    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1À Dix De Mes Disciples lyrics
    2Les Temps Changent lyrics
    3Inch'Allah lyrics
    4Hijo De Africa lyrics
    5Guérillas lyrics
    Hasta La Vista lyrics
    Lève-Toi Et Rap lyrics
    8Séquelles lyrics
    9Dakota lyrics
    10Arkansas lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Chapitre 7 [2007]
    Mach 6 [2003]
    3Cinquième As [2001]
    4Qui Sème Le Vent Récolte Le Tempo [1991]
    5Paradisiaque [1997]
    6Prose Combat [1994]
    7MC Solaar [1998]
    8Le Tour De La Question [1998]


    Claude M'Barali, better known to music fans as MC Solaar, was born in Dakar on March 5, 1969. His parents, both of Tchad origin, left Africa when their son was just six months old to move to France, where they found a flat in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. Claude's father returned to Chad once he had finished his studies in France, so the young boy was brought up by his mother, who found work as an auxiliary nurse. The young rapper was to grow up in another Paris suburb, Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, where he soon proved to be an exceptionally talented football player. Young Claude devoted considerably less time and energy to his schoolwork, however, relying on his good memory rather than his homework to see him through. At the age of 12 Claude was sent to live with an uncle in Cairo for nine months, studying at the French school established in the Egyptian capital. Later, Claude would recount how his stay in Egypt had considerably broadened his young mind. On his return to France he began to apply himself to his studies and went on to pass his 'baccalauréat' without any problems. He then began to study English, Spanish and Russian.

    Bouge De Là
    Claude had been a passionate music fan from an early age, and growing up in the Paris suburbs he had been listening to rap music throughout his teenage years. It was not long before the teenage Claude became an adept of this new style. Changing his name to MC Solaar (adapted from his old graffiti tags SOAR and SOLAAR which he used to spray on the walls of his local housing estate), the young rapper went into the studio in the summer of 1990, accompanied by his sidekick Jimmy Jay, to start recording a series of demo tapes. One of the songs on the demo tapes, "Bouge De Là", went onto become MC Solaar's début single and it proved an instant hit, rocketing to the n°5 spot in the national charts. ("Bouge De Là" would also go on to win MC Solaar a coveted "Victoires de la Musique" award).

    The following year MC Solaar went on to support the famous American rap group De La Soul when they performed at the Olympia in Paris in September 91. By the time the French rapper recorded his début album, Qui Sème Le Vent Récolte Le Tempo (released at the end of 91) he had become a major figure on the French music scene. The album proved an instant hit with the French public, going on to sell 400,000 copies.

    MC Solaar's innovative rap style revolves around soft melodies and finely-crafted poetic lyrics. The French rapper, renowned as an insatiable reader of novels and newspapers and an avid collector of dictionaries, has an exceptional gift for language and his songs are filled with clever puns and wordplay.

    In December 91, MC Solaar was involved in Amnesty International's special 30th anniversary project, "30 films contre l'oubli" ("30 Films Against Forgetting"). The rap star appeared with the French raggamuffin group Saï Saï in director Costa Gavras's film which demanded the immediate release of Kim Song Man, held as a political prisoner in South Korea.

    By 1992 MC Solaar's fame was beginning to spread beyond France. In May and June 92 the French rapper embarked upon extensive tours of Poland and Russia. In December 92 he would perform in no less than twelve countries in West Africa, where his French rap style proved extremely popular with African music fans.

    Following the success of these concerts, MC Solaar went on to work with a number of other French artists. The most important of these collaborations were "Et Dieu Créa L'Homme", a track the rapper recorded on Jimmy Jay's compilation album "Cool Sessions" in April 93, and "Le Bien, Le Mal", a duet he recorded with the American rap artist Guru in June 93.

    Boarder breaker
    MC Solaar went back into the studio in February 94 to record his second album Prose Combat. This proved even more successful than his début album, selling over 800,000 copies (100,000 of which sold within just 10 days of its release). It was at this point that the French rapper's international career really took off in earnest, the album selling in 20 different countries worldwide. Prose Combat even proved a big hit in Britain and America - a remarkable feat for an album recorded in French ! MC Solaar's second album went on to produce a whole string of hit singles including "Nouveau Western", "Obsolète" and "La Concubine De L'Hémoglobine" (songs in which MC Solaar expounds his personal philosophy).

    In February 95, MC Solaar, now an international star, received an award for Best Male Singer of the Year at the 10th edition of the French "Victoires de la Musique" awards. The rapper went on to perform an extensive tour of France and Europe.

    In June 97, MC Solaar was back at the forefront of the French music scene with his third album Paradisiaque. This album, the first the rapper had recorded without his longtime friend and producer Jimmy Jay, featured musical contributions from Hubert Blanc-Francard aka Boom Bass and Philippe Zdar aka la Funk Mob. The lyrics were, of course, penned by the rapper himself.

    On 9 and 10 January 1998 MC Solaar kicked off an extensive European tour in Paris at the Zénith. Accompanied on stage by a DJ and a group of hip hop dancers, the rapper presented an exciting new show with sophisticated choreography and creative stage sets. This impressive show was produced in conjunction with MC Solaar's childhood friend Bambi Cruz, a talented young musician and choreographer. (Cruz would be the first artist released on Sentinelle Nord, the brand new label recently set up by MC Solaar).

    On 11 May 98 hundreds of French rap fans flocked to Paris to catch MC Solaar in concert at the Olympia. The rap star took advantage of his appearance at the prestigious Olympia to record the first live album of his career. Two days later Solaar jetted down to Cannes for the 51st edition of the International Film Festival. Solaar, a well-known film fan, had been invited to act as a member of the jury at Cannes 98 - an extra-special honour as the President of the jury at this year's festival was none other than the legendary American director Martin Scorsese.

    In Tears
    After recording Le Tour De La Question, MC Solaar split up from his girlfriend, Ophélie Winter. The pair finally separated in December 2000, after spending four years plastered across newspapers and magazines as one of the most media-hyped couples in French showbiz. Following the break-up of his relationship, Solaar locked himself away and began writing material for a new album. Eagerly awaited by hundreds of thousands of French music fans, the album (due out later this year) was preceded by a single entitled "Solaar Pleure".

    MC Solaar, who has introduced rap into the musical mainstream in France, is not only a charismatic performer. The poetry and craftsmanship of his lyrics rank alongside those of the greatest French songwriters such as Serge Gainsbourg. Instead of going in for hardcore rap and hard-hitting lyrics about political reality and contemporary society in the manner of other French rap groups such as NTM or IAM, MC Solaar has chosen to write deeper, more reflective lyrics and create his own rap style fusing poetry and literary references.

    Eventually Cinquième As was released in February 2001. On this new album, Solaar, also credited as artistic director, chose to work with young debuting composers such as DJ Mac, DJ Curser and DJ Sample. The songs are rather varied in tone, combining light dancy lyrics on such tracks as "Baby Love" or "Hasta La Vista" on the one hand, with a deeper graver tone on others like "Colonies" or "Arkansas". With Cinquième As, Solaar showed his will to move to a more hard-core rap—the first single being entitled "Solaar Pleure", even if, according to the artist himself, he would refuse to follow the ordinary trend and become just another hard-boiled macho rapper.

    A few months after releasing Cinquième As, the singer kicked off on a tour around France, starting with three gigs at the Paris Zenith on November 14-16th where he treated his audience to a real show. The tour was crowned with success and his two singles, "Hasta La Vista" and "RMI", propelled the album to the top of the charts as soon as early September. Cinquième As topped the 500,000 mark after the first six months, confirming Solaar as the French music scene's no.1 rap star (even he has attracted criticism from some of his more hardcore rap counterparts).

    Angels' Hell
    Solaar returned to the music news in 2002, taking part in a series of concerts organised by "Les Enfoirés" in Marseille to raise funds for French charity "Les Restaurants du Cœur". Shortly after his appearance in Marseilles it was announced that the French rap star was hard at work on his first musical (provisionally entitled "L'Enfer des Anges").

    Meanwhile, Solaar had been busy fighting a fierce five-year battle against his former record label, Polydor (a label which, during his time, there had been a subsidiary of Polygram and had then been bought out by Vivendi-Universal). Solaar launched hostilities on September 1, 1997, asking the French courts to prevent his first four albums from being commercially exploited by Vivendi. The rap star was finally able to pop the champagne corks and celebrate his victory in April 2002 when the courts found in his favour and ordered Vivendi to pay a substantial sum in damages and salary and copyright arrears.

    Having sold an impressive 850,000 copies of the album Cinquième As, MC Solaar was comfortably off when it came to recording his next album, Mach 6. Released in December 2003, the 16-track album was masterminded by the Black Rose Corporation (aka producers Eric K-Roz & Alain J). Solaar ended up flying out to Moscow with the pair to record the string sections, which gave an added orchestral touch to his polished hip hop sound. Lyrically speaking, Mach 6 found the smooth-talking French rapper exuding his usual energy and verve as he sang about fictional adventures of life in the 'hood (the 'hood in his case being the Paris suburb of Villeneuve Saint-Georges).

    One track on the album, "Souvenir", was inspired by a recent real-life experience, however, Solaar recounting how a stop-and-search by French police had got rapidly out of hand. But the first single chosen for release from the album was "La Vie Est Belle". A special marketing campaign, aimed at highlighting the problem of fans downloading music from the Internet for free, was organised around the launch of Mach 6. 300,000 free CD-Roms were distributed outside the Métro in main towns up and down France, but the catch was that the tracks on the CDs erased themselves after six days!

    The release of Mach 6 was not marked by any kind of tour. In fact, little has been seen of the French rapper on the live scene of late. Events in his personal life appear to have taken up most of his time instead. On December 7, 2003, Solaar married Chloé Bensemoun who, on May 7, 2004, gave birth to the couple's first child, Roman.

    Following the birth of his son, the rap star decided to put his hectic touring and recording schedule on hold for a while, taking a sabbatical from the music world to devote more time to family life.

    In May 2006, Solaar made the headlines again when he was taken to court on a plagiary charge. Gérard Layani, the man who wrote the music and the lyrics for "La Marchande D'Allumette" (1967), accused Solaar of having stolen 28 notes from his song and used them without his permission on his own song, "La La La". The French court ordered Solaar to play a fine and the album Cinquième As (on which "La La La" featured) had to be withdrawn from sale.

    2007: Chapitre 7
    MC Solaar returned to the forefront of the French rap scene in 2007 with his seventh album, Chapitre 7, recorded in Paris and mixed in the US. Featuring Solaar's signature smooth flow and linguistic fluidity, the songs on this new album dealt with darker, more disturbing themes than usual such as gun crime and conspiracy theories. "Da Vinci Claude" was chosen as the first single release from the album.

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