Londonist fondly recalls the first time we heard MC Solaar – our French teacher was attempting to force us to identify with French culture more and so each day she featured a different French music act and on one particular day she played Onzieme Commandment and we were hooked.
Tuesday evening MC Solaar took the stage at the Royal Festival Hall, probably the oddest venue for a rap concert ever. He is part of a long line up of contemporary music acts billed to support Africa Remix over the course of about two months all around London cultural centres.
In a word his performance was spectacular. The song line-up included such classics as Caroline, L’eve Toi et Rap, and Hasta La Vista as well as some of his newest work. MC Solaar was flanked almost at all times by two back-up rappers who at opportune moments broke it down on stage with some pop and lock dance routines, or shouted "Make some noise" to the audience. MC Solaar was also backed by a DJ, bassist, guitarist, and two drummers, as well as Linda (if we remember correctly) also referred to as the girl of a thousand outfits.
In addition to the music being amazing, the people watching was phenomenal. Never in all the concerts we have been to have we experienced such a diverse and crazy mixture of music lovers. Our seats were located in what we refer to lovingly as "couples country" – every person around us had come with a significant other and many of them sat motionless throughout the entire concert. The one blaring example was the couple behind us dancing, screaming, and smoking cigs which would be fine except that they did all three simultaneously and without any consideration for those around them (but bygones – the concert was amazing regardless).
Not only was MC Solaar amazing, his opening act Ty from South London was excellent as well. Be on the look out for big things from him. For more information on Africa Remix go here, next week brings Dizzee Rascal to the stage.