(So Solid Crew)

So Solid Crew's presence was felt during In The City with Lisa Maffia showcasing North Star, the band she manages and signed to Maffia records, and various So Solid personnel such as JD and Megaman taking part in the Urban Music Seminar as part of Urban In The City. The event was an overwhelming success marred by the management of two venues in the city whose stereotypes and racism saw one event closed down and another subject to over zealous security. Designer Magazine caught up with So Solid Crew's Kaish to find out his opinion on Urban In The City and got the low-down on the new album

Q: On the whole the first Urban Music Seminar has been an overwhelming success which has now brought "urban" music to the fore in the industry but also brought it outside the capital. How do you feel about the success of Urban In The City?
A: As you know there's a lot of Urban Seminars going on, there's one down in London, and it's the same topics at every single one i've been to. It takes a man like Damon Dash from Rockafella or Matthew Knowles to come over and open these things. This should have been done ages ago and at the end of the day it's getting a bit boring. I've been to 3 in the last couple of months and nothing has been changed. It's all talk at the moment.

Q: How do you feel about the events that transpired last night at Baby Grand and also today at M2 where a few over zealous managers have stereotyped the urban scene and caused unnecessary stress and trouble
A: I think what's been going on is out of order to tell you the truth man. It's because it's urban and it's black people mainly coming to this event. If it was a rock event or a white event they wouldn't be searching everyone. I think it's totally out of order, but the law's the law and if they want to search people you either go along with it or you get kicked out. When you've got innocent people that just want to come down and see what's happening and they're getting searched it's bang out of order.

Q: With the whole media furore which surrounded So Solid Crew and ultimately led you cancel your tour are you used to these measures now?
A: Yeah, we're used to it now. There's always been searches, but the majority of clubs they don't search me. I just get through the VIP entrance, but even now in a lot of those clubs they're starting to search. When they know So Solid's coming they start the searching. I was shocked about what happened today though cos i've been in here all day and I just popped back to the hotel to get changed and when I come back they've started searching everyone.

Q: Personally what are you doing now as an artist and as part of So Solid?
A: I'm just working on the solo album that I have in the pipeline. I've got about 5 more songs to do. Apart from that i've been working alongside that on the new So Solid album. Lisa Maffia's projects are happening. We've just finished doing a movie featuring Mega, Face and Swiss. We've got the new L.O.N Don So Solid DVD which has just come out the monday just gone.

We've just been laying low so in the next 2 months or so you should start seeing the new So Solid single coming. We've just come off doing a tour with Christina Aguilera in Europe and it's going really well out there. A lot of people think that So Solid Crew are finished, but this is just the beginning. We're coming back with a brand new album and everything's gonna be on top.

Q: It's not been possible in the past, but are you looking to try and tour the new album in the UK?
A: We'll just have to wait and see. They think we're just gangsters, so who can tell how it's gonna go

Q: That's the thing about today with a lot of the venues involved in the Urban In The City event. They'll accept an urban event in their venue (and no doubt take the money to boot), but they'll only accept it on their blinkered terms
A: Exactly. We've just come down to see our acts and go home really and you get so much hassle. We came to the club last night and they said we can't get into the club because the police have banned So Solid from every club in Manchester.

For More info on So Solid Crew
For more info on In The City

Post your So Solid Crew comments / reviews on the Message Board
(NB: The message board opens in a new window so please disable your pop-up blocker to view)

Johnny Jay on Urban In The City

Designer Magazine caught up with Johnny Jay, producer and one of the Urban In The City events main organizers, outside the M2 venue on the second day of the Urban Summit. The previous night an Urban Unsigned event had been shut down across the road at the Baby Grand venue due to accusations of violence and drug use. Here as Johnny initial reaction:

"All I know there was a lot of mix-up. I'm furious. I had to tell everybody to leave that venue last night. There are a lot of acts who came down last night who can't afford to afford to come all the way down from London and not get a chance to play. So Solid have been tarred with something, but I know it's nothing to do with So Solid. I've spoke to Mega and he's said it was nothing to do with his guys"

Inside sources have suggested in the week following the event that Baby Grand's management were not aware that it was an urban event when it was book and then closed it down as in their opinion they felt their regular customers would feel intimidated. If Baby Grand feel the need to discriminate against a group of people on the basis of their race Designer Magazine feels it's only correct that both In The City and the general public boycott the venue and make their feelings known the management on 0161 839 6263