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MC Solaar

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Biography

MC Solaar is the stage name of francophone artist Claude M’Barali (born March 5, 1969). By far the most internationally popular French rapper, he was born in Dakar, Senegal to parents from Chad. The family moved to Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, just outside Paris, when Solaar was six months old. He also spent time at the École Française du Caire (French School of Cairo) later on in life.

One of MC Solaar’s first claims to fame was the he did on a level one French language education tape: “Comment t’appelles-tu?”.

MC Solaar’s first single, Bouge de là, was a French hit in 1990 that went platinum, as was his first album, Qui Sème le Vent Récolte le Tempo. His second album, Prose Combat, may be his most acclaimed.

As a rapper MC Solaar is known for the complexity and poetry of his songs, which rely on wordplay, lyricism, and philosophical inquiry. The music is based on dance rhythms and sensual grooves. In the English-speaking world, Solaar was signed by London acid jazz label Talkin’ Loud and invited to record with British group Urban Species and Guru, a member of the famous and highly-acclaimed New York group Gang Starr.

MC Solaar gained new fans in North America in early 2004, when his 2001 song La belle et le bad boy was featured on the final episode of the popular television series Sex and the City. MC Solaar remains best-known outside of France for his work on Guru’s Jazzmatazz project and as a guest rapper on the Missy Elliott track All N My Grill.

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