The best and most popular French rapper, MC Solaar found success in America among fans of acid jazz and jazz-rap (if not the larger hip-hop community) after guesting on Guru's acclaimed Jazzmatazz project. His fluid phrasing makes up for his lack of English, and the production on his solo work (by DJ Jimmy Jay and Boom Bass of La Funk Mob) surpasses that of most of his hip-hop contemporaries.
Born Claude M'Barali in Senegal, Solaar later moved to Paris and released his first single, "Bouge de La," in 1990. Two later tracks became French hits, prompting the release of his first album, Qui Seme le Vent Recolte le Tempo, in 1991. Introduced to the U.S. by way of two compilations (Tommy Boy's Planet Rap and Island's The Rebirth of Cool), MC Solaar recorded "Le Bien, Le Mal" for 1993's Jazzmatazz LP. His second album, Prose Combat, earned an American release on Cohiba by 1994. Paradisiaque followed in 1997, and Solaar returned a year later with a self-titled effort. La Tour de la Question appeared in 1999. ~ John Bush, Rovi