So Solid Crew They Don't Know Review

BBC Review

...darker, more futuristic sounding cuts with ring tone bleeps and bass lines that...

Christian Hopwood 2002

If you haven't heard of So Solid then you are to be congratulated. With so much attention being given over to the Battersea massive at the moment it has been near impossible to avoid stories of shootings, cancelled tours and Harvey's love life.

However, amongst the furore there is much to be admired; this is young group whose motivation cannot be questioned, they've done everything themselves by keeping the crew tight and helping each other. Combining inner city music, lifestyle and fashion their company So Solid Entertainment comprises a DJ agency, two record imprints (Paper Money and So Solid Beats), a promotions and distribution company and not to mention a radio station.

Founded by MC Megaman, So Solid has been two years in the making. Through pirate radio station Supreme FM he met MC Mac and DJ PDS; with that partnership locked he started slapping their So Solid brand on the flyers for Garage Delight and getting some tracks out on vinyl. With the numbers now reaching 30, the release of They Don't Know signifies a triumph for Megaman and his crew and a landmark UK release.

Fusing elements of R&B, hip hop, garage and ragga the So Solid sound is stripped down, dirty and raw - like the man says, "Keep it real, keep it simple." The US rap influence is apparent yet their style is gritty, futuristic and more uptempo. Unlike the chart topping "21 Seconds", the Knightrider sampling "Ride Wid Us" and "Friend of Mine" are darker, more futuristic sounding cuts with ring tone bleeps and bass lines that could shake the bumper loose from the car behind.

Props are due to Lisa Mafia for diva duties across the album, in particular "Deeper", "Oh No Remix" and her standout delivery on "Skyla". She provides a welcome contrast to the sound of the male MC army that dominates this record. Ultimately, it doesn't matter that So Solid have little to say of importance about the world, it is their music, identity, solidarity, and motivation that speaks volumes. In short, they need no more justification than this; I bling therefore I am.

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