MC Solaar is well known to France as 50 Cent is known to ths US, he's had hit singles in the UK, France, Germany and as far afield as Japan. So what's getting people to buy French rap? The fact that Solaar is a peaceful rapper, he deosn't speak badly of women, he doesn't talk about shooting the police, he doesn't mention unecessary violence, and he's poetical. He knows how to use French verbs so effectively it's incredible. His speed isn't blistering too, not like some of the rappers out there who you can't understand. Cinqueme As is his 5th studio album, which I feel is pretty impressive.
It all kicks off with the angelic tainted "Solaar Pleur", which to me isn't his best. I really don't like this title, it's just so annoying to me. The rapping is good, but the whole mood just seems to go against Solaar's grain. He's just so angry and swears like it was in fashon. It's just not my style.
I especially like "Leve toi et rap", which is an excellent piece of hip hop; Solaar rapping about how he got up and took the mic in his mid teens. It's also about late 80s Paris, grafitti, b-boys and hip hop nights. It's quite well put together, and the samples are excellent, Gangstarr announcing "MC Solaar", one of my favourites on the album.
Another I really like is Colonies, an excellent tale of how Africa had a lot of French colonies.
Another great has to be Hasta La Vista, Solaar a l'Espagnol, which is pretty cool. If you have the UK release, it's actually a Spanish version, which I also loved. This is a tale of a lover in Spain, which is poetically put together by Claude MC.
Other great features on here has to be la belle et le bad boy, a parody of Beauty and the Beast, but of course, 00's style. The bad boy robs cars, mopeds and other stuff, while the girl is beautiful, and the bad boy wants her.
La la la reminds me a bit of his 1998 hit "Les Temps Changent", it's cheerful, yet a bit silly and comical.
Akansas is quite a serious track with serious vocals, about a kid who gets a gun for Christmas and shoots bottles, but one day he decides to shoot someone. Solaar is trying to say if you get your child a gun, he might well get a real one in the future, so don't encourage guns.
Another of my favourites includes RMI, all about income support - telling us a lot of people expect it and don't get much to live on. You'd have to understand French Social Security rules to understand this.
Other favourites include Hiphopaloorap, which is a pretty cool piece of hip hop; Cinqueme As, which I find quite rather patronising of Solaar to make himself sound like he's god; and Playmate, which is an excellent love song about a girl who goes after rich men who only want to fool around, and not have a proper relation. The girl is left with a baby, and takes the TGV to get away from him.
Solaar has done a lot of colaborations on here, 9Respect and Don Xeré Delavega, and now, Bambi Crutz, who is well known in Solaar's discography. This is because he's in the Cinq Cent One Posse, which Solaar hangs in. Homme Qui Voulait Trois Milliards is the tale of a man who wanted cash fast, and did a robbery. It's a parody though, because MC Solaar makes a joke of it by saying "MC Solaar is behind the counter, how can I help?". Excellent track.
Finally, Si Je Meurs Ce Soir, which is a song about if he dies tonight, which reminds me of something 2Pac would do. Very cool and laid back, great vocals, but a bit too G Funk. The strange thing is, it's got 4mins of silence, then Samedi Soir comes on, a song about Saturday nights, when he used to get high and wander the streets.
Altogether it's an excellent album - DJ Sample, DJ Mac and Black Rose are all unknown, but they've done a sterling job on production. Their production level is at the same as Pigale Boom Bass, with hints of Jimmy Jay, which is excellent. The only thing I hate about this album is Solaar Pleur, just can't get into that song. The enhanced stuff on here's a joke too, Opendisc is all that's on it, which signs you up to a mailinglist and lets you see "extras", which isn't really that exciting. Altogether, an excellent album with excellent production values, 4/5 just because of Solaar Pleur.