The youngest know him, or at least vaguely remember his face, by his regular appearances at the annual Enfoirés show. Those who have not always paid in euros remember, willingly or by force, the musical surge it caused in the 90s. Today, it is neither a new album nor a new one. tour that bring MC Solaar (52 years old) back into the news, but precisely this golden musical age that the children of those who lived it have never been able to listen to. At least those who did not already have at their disposal the first four albums of the rapper (1) in the parental disco.
Years of procedures
Untraceable for twenty years, they are again available, an agreement having finally been found between Solaar and his former record company which held the rights to them. Explanations. After having signed a contract for four albums with Polydor in his early days, MC Solaar initiated legal proceedings in 1998 against his record company which, contrary to the artist’s desire to release a double album after “Prose Combat”, delivered two albums separately (“Paradisiaque” in 1997, “MC Solaar” in 1998). In 2004, after six years of various proceedings, the courts prohibited Polydor (now Universal Music) from using its first four albums, but it kept the rights to them… until this year.
“The moral is that you have to meet”
Time has done its work or the battle has been tough? “A mixture of the two. We are of the same generation. At one point, we all managed to get together in “physics” and we came to an agreement. In fact, the moral is that you have to meet, ”summarizes Claude MC Solaar with a smile on the subject of this incongruity finally erased. That of a discography (videos included) under seal, and in particular an album sold in nearly a million copies, “Prose Combat”. An imposing marker of the history of French rap and French-language song at the end of the last century, again available in physical version (CD, vinyl) on September 24.
“French rap has really progressed”
The apparent tranquility that has never left him can not hide the desire found by this outcome … also always welcome financially. “We will see that in the creation. Now that I have the five elements, foot-foot-arm-arm-head, maybe I’ll split the old from the new. “
These new ones which did not escape him: “When you listen to Orelsan, Nekfeu, Ko Baladé in its beginnings, Bigflo & Oli… it’s really strong. There is consistency. When they manage to find their originality, their identity, the level is very high. French rap has really progressed, ”he said, adding:“ The new generation is very young, they tell me ‘how are the old ones? ” but don’t even know I know them (smiles) Most of them were born after 1994. A lot of them don’t know “Prose Combat.” I was even told “I liked your first song, Solaar cry (2001). ”Well, they think I’m younger, so it’s okay…”
Without regrets, without reproach
Touched by Youssoupha who pays tribute to him on his latest album, the artist revealed by the unforgettable “Bouge de là” is also delighted to meet Soprano, another “old”, for the new production of the Marseillais, specifying: “Collaborations are good, but always with people who have a personality, not for the perfume of the month”. He also does not forget the missed appointments: “During periods when things were not going well, I was sometimes offered collaborations, but they only remained words for various reasons … There, with the coronavirus , I was able to do a couple of things. This is one of its benefits: when you say something, you have time to do it ”.
No regrets, no reproaches, on these “periods or it was not going” for the one who, despite four first albums (nine in total, including one live) with “limited availability” in time, has elapsed nearly five million records (second in sales for a French rapper behind Jul).
No bitterness either for the one who, in less than ten years, had gone from rapper of MJC to juror of the Cannes Film Festival (1998), from specialized fanzines to the celebrity press and its rumors of all kinds… A vertiginous rise towards the summit that the Ballon d’Or of word players and rhymers left in 2007 before ten years of silence, which he now regrets, and a last album, Géopolitique (2017), more successful measured (200,000 copies sold all the same).
A “white period” tour soon?
As he chanted with the nostalgia he loves on his album “Heavenly” in 1997, a year before being awarded a Grand medal for French song for “all of his poetic songs” by the French Academy, “Les temps changent” for the young fifty-something. His works remain, some too long in the shade before finding the light. A second life for a new start? “Listening to the sounds again and diving back into them made me realize that we were complete again. Now it belongs to us again, so it makes you want, ”explains a Solaar enthusiastic about the idea of living on stage“ a “white period” tour, à la Picasso. Our first period with the style of the time. As things re-exist, it becomes more and more likely. The idea dates back four years, we’ll see if everyone still agrees. In any case, the energy is back ”. Its first gems too.
(1) “Qui sème le vent reaps the tempo”, available on CD / Vinyl since July 9, “Prose Combat”, September 24, and soon “Paradisiaque” and “MC Solaar” in the form of a double album wanted at the time by the artist. All albums are available on streaming platforms.
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