So Solid Crew
If one band defined the spirit and youth of urban Britain in 2001 it was So Solid Crew. It took them from the highest highs, with "21 Seconds" hitting the top spot and the successful album that followed, to the low of their first British Tour being cancelled after police pressure forced the promoters into a rethink. We caught up with Face who tells us that 2002 is going to be all about the music and how the crew will simply grow and grow.
Q: The single "Haters" is out today. You're going up against your label mate Daniel Beddinfield for the top spot. Do you think it will be another Number 1 then?
A: I hope so, but Top 10 will be alright for me. People are always focusing on the negatives and that's how it us for us man. That's why my lyrics have changed now and I'm kind of talking to the people that have got that bad vibe against us...trying to show them that I have got class and were not just about violence and guns. We just talk about what's going on in this world right now!!!
We want to be taken seriously, not just as a band, because its a message were trying to get across as well, innit. That's why we came out with "Haters". Because after "21 Seconds" a lot of people didn't like us no more and a lot of people started hating us...were trying to show them what's going on in our life and what's happened in our life as well. What we want is for everyone to just try and understand where were coming from.
Q: 2001 was a great year for you guys with it being marred at the end of the year with the cancellation of the tour. I believe you're still trying to re-arrange the tour dates. What's the state of play at the moment with it all?
A: We've been trying to but I don't think they're going to let us do it. Were trying to fight for certain things but we've got our next album coming out hopefully before summer so we'll probably do a tour then. They tried to say it was us that pulled a bad crowd. Its been happening for a longer time and its always been happening in the underground...what happened is that we've brought the underground out in the open, so they kind of blamed us for it all.
One incident that happenned...thats all it is!!! I just think they're jealous because we did come from the streets and we have had quite a bad background struggling and doing certain things that was wrong. But everybody changes and now we've found one thing that we can do, because i'm not really that good with associating with people, and now coming into music I can associate with everybody.
We feel we can get somewhere with music and we've brought everybody else that was in the ghetto, everybody that was struggling and that are still struggling now... just to show everybody that anybody can do it!!!
Q: If you take a band like Oasis for example. Its almost accepted that trouble will happen and extra security and police will duly be laid on. The So Solid tour was playing venues which were tiny in comparison. Do you think it is just an urban hip-hop thing that the police really object to?
A: They're victimizing us, that's what they're doing!!! With Ja Rule there was gunfire at his concert and fighting and they're still blaming the Astoria, innit. So maybe its the clubs.
Q: Some of our readers, or the general public for that matter, may have an image of you already. In order to get a better understanding of where you're coming from could you tell us what you grew up around every day?
A: I came from the trash!!! That's where I came from basically. We were brought up in the worst part of a neighbourhood where all that happens is fighting, stealing and robbing...thats its. That's where I grew up. It was the sort of place where the government would never put any money in...thats really where I came from and grew up in.
I've always tried to get out and now I've found a way out and they're still trying to keep us...its like they want to put us back where we came from because now we've come out of there they've nothing to do really. And we've took a lot of people with us so nobody's on the streets no more in Battersea.
Q: Would you like the music just to speak for itself?
A: Definitely. Nothing else but the music. Me, Mac and Scat D are doing MBD (Mad, Bad & Dangerous) which is something totally different. Its not MBD as in one mad person, one bad person and one dangerous person. Its mad as in what we write but its still understandable, educational and a bit twisted.
Right now my biggest influence is DMX and Tupac. I can understand the lyrics of Tupac and he was doing the same thing were trying to do now - he was writing about what was happening and other peoples lives.
Some songs like "Friend Of Mine", I wrote that about people getting it twisted. I'm just saying what is happening now I've kind of got myself out of the ghetto people are following me. I'm telling us back in the day you hated us, you jumped us down, you gave us poverty and trouble. So i'm basically listening to Tupac and hopefully we'll be able to turn it round and show them another side.
Q: 2002. What's happening solo and side project wise for the crew?
A: A lot of albums are coming out this year and that's what everyone in So Solid is working on right now. Asher D's album is out February, same time as Romeo's. After that Lisa Mafia's album, and then hopefully we'll be able to squeeze in MBD's album in then.
The 2nd So Solid album should be ready for summer and then hopefully we'll get the tour back on. We've got quite a few tunes down already for that and you'll be hearing some of the new people we've just brought in. There's a couple more ladies in there...we've got The Twins. Two girls, one called Tigeress who is the sister of one of Ladies First.
What were talking about is taking people from here to other countries and putting on the whole weekend with accommodation and all that. For the kids there will hopefully be a clothes line out soon as well.
Q: What's it like bringing new members into the crew?
A: I get a buzz out of it if you ask me. Me, for instance, when I joined the group I was ok because my friends were all in it and i'm ok because I've done well now and because they've brought me in they get a buzz out it because I'm doing so good.
People come in and they can't do it, they struggle, and then all of a sudden there one of the best. We get kicks out of it man. There's definitely 30 members but hopefully were going to rise....we'll get to 100 if we can!!!
Q: This year will see the competition closing in. What do you think of The Pay As You Go Cartel?
A: We get on with them still. They've feeded of us though like we feeded of other people like Tupac and then put it into garage. When we sign up people we want them to have their own sound and not just have that So Solid sound...its for them to do what ever they do.
"Haters" is out now
The mix CD "F**k It" is out January 14th
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