MC Solaar

Cinquieme As: Fifth Ace

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Cinquieme As: Fifth Ace Review

by Kingsley Marshall

Of all the hip-hop that broke through from Europe in the early '90s, it was Parisian MC Solaar (aka Claude M'barali) who stole the show with his debut. The aptly titled Qui Seme le Vent Recolte le Tempo, a play on the proverb "Whoever wants the wind receives a thunderstorm," was the first rap album to achieve platinum sales in France and broke him as an artist to watch worldwide. Rather than continuing with the same formula, Solaar has continued to test himself with this, his fifth long-player, elaborating on the rich strings of his eponymous 1998 effort with a prevalence of orchestration but shifting the production style closer to that of Prose Combat. For those concerned with their own sketchy knowledge of the language, Solaar's deft delivery papers the cracks, with the lyrics taking on the role of melody over meaning and not detracting at all from the listening experience.

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