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French | MC Solarar sows the party

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A hoped-for meeting for some, an unexpected first date for others, Friday evening at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier with MC Solaar was nevertheless a rare and eventful occasion.

Posted at 5:00

Charles-Eric Blais-Poulin

Charles-Eric Blais-Poulin
The print

It took only a few steps for the pioneer of French rap, who had an instrumental red carpet rolled out by a Montreal string orchestra, to spark a standing ovation.

Dress and cap, Claude M’Barali, with his real name, entered the front door with He who sows the wind collects time, title track of his inaugural album, both a slap in the face and a lesson distributed to the French rap scene at the turn of the 90s. Many spectators stood upright to reply to the MC: “Who sows the wind reaping the …? “Time!” ”

“In the name of father, son and Claude, MC Solaar invites you to rap parties. ”

The veteran has returned to offering a “rap party” in Montreal after nearly a quarter of a century of hermitage, professional interruptions and contractual disputes – now resolved – with the Polydor record company. The last tickets he had sold in the metropolis for the Francos, at the Metropolis more precisely, were stamped on June 22, 1998.

“The end justifies the means”, the MC born in Dakar will explain on this title taken from fight in prose (1994), a second erudite album filled with alliteration, jazz and academic references, as well as popular allegories.

Solarar will also draw from it the now cult Sequel, Obsolete – they are all standing -, The concubine of hemoglobin or New western. “Sometimes life feels like a stray bullet / In the modern system the individual drowns / To stay lucid he drank Brandy / Now we brandish, TV, shit and baby”, will drop the poet-rapper two kilometers away from the F1 celebrations .

The flow is intact: musical, precise, fluid, embodied.


Photo Denis Germain, Special collaboration

Solar MC

Surprisingly, among the audience: many young people who fidgeted on the changing tables in Quebec when the rapper gave birth to his greatest hits. Many sing along with their elders, no doubt involved in the handover. This is especially noticeable when the first notes of the strokes sound. Who sows the wind … : Fashion victim – there is no need to ask the public: “this is his code name! », – Armand is dead, Carolina … And what about Get out of here, which gets a particularly feverish reaction and blows hundreds of iPhones into the air in video mode.

According to the classics, the seats of the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier suffered very little wear on Friday evening. The most motivated also gathered in the corridors, on both sides of the stage.

“Montreal, how are you? “I’m super happy to be in Montreal”: not very talkative, in a sober and warm staging, the club ace has chosen to be generous in his music first. It will have offered nearly two hours of celebration divided into more than 20 songs.

With his first three albums just reissued in his bag, the versifier didn’t want to sit on his reputation and rely on nostalgia. Instead, he chose to revisit his concert repertoire with the jazz band New Big Band Project, led by composer Issam Krimi. Enough to highlight the abundant musical experimentation – curated with the duo BoomBass / Zdar and DJ Jimmy Jay – that powers Solaar’s early albums.


Photo Denis Germain, Special collaboration

On Friday Mc Solaar was accompanied by brass, strings and choirs.

Jazz, funk, old school hip-hop, French song… The MC, accompanied by its 3 “Cs” – brass, strings, (excellent and energetic) backing singers -, binds genres sometimes with phlegm, hand in pocket , sometimes with passion, cutting time by hand. Floats on stage, has fun with its thirty singers and musicians, nods cheerfully.

When MC Solaar pointed out that “we were nearing the end”, the crowd whistled spontaneously. Recriminations of love, of course. There were actually six songs left, four of which were offered as encores, including the recent one sonotone (Geopoetics2017) and the maximum Time outtaken from fight in prose. “Break, I need to rest, time out! ”

After the concert on Friday, many will be hoping that, this time, the warrior’s rest away from Montreal will not last a quarter of a century.

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