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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
So Solid Crew: Garage stars
So Solid Crew: 30 men and women and a dog
So Solid Crew: 30 men and women and a dog
At the time of the Mobo awards 2000, the name So Solid Crew was unknown to all but the most avid fans of the UK garage scene's underground clubs, radio stations and sound systems.

But after the 2001 ceremony, their members have three of the increasingly influential awards to add to their chart-topping single, 21 seconds.

 Click here to watch a clip of So Solid Crew perform 21 Seconds on Top of the Pops

The success comes from their mixture of R&B, hip-hop and ragga sounds, their tough street image and - through their 30 members - their cornering of the market in the fastest-rising musical genre in the country.


We've been through our hard times and we struggled to get where we are

MC Megaman
Their leader, 21-year-old MC Megaman, has been promoting UK garage parties and performing in nightclubs since he was a teenager, and his fellow members drifted together through a range of contacts and collaborations.

Megaman got together with MC Romeo, 20, when they both performed on the same Killer Watt carnival soundsystem, while he met MC Mac and DJ PDS at pirate station Supreme FM in 1999.

Megaman started using the So Solid name when promoting club nights before the Crew decided to start writing and recording together.

Oxide and Neutrino have had three top ten hits
Oxide and Neutrino have had three top ten hits
The first single to get a full release was Oh No (Sentimental Things) in December 2000, and that gave some taste of what was to come when 21 Seconds went straight to number one in the UK chart in August.

The single's name was a reference to how long each member had to add their vocals - encapsulating the group's loose-knit but democratic ethos.

Among their members are Oxide and Neutrino, who have had three UK top ten singles as a duo.

 Click here to watch a clip of Oxide and Neutrino perform Devil's Nightmare on Top of the Pops

So Solid Crew have been described as the UK Wu-Tang Clan, and Megaman says the group can be split into "sweet boys", "hard nuts" and "normal, quiet, casual guys".


We did it from scratch, no banks, no loans - and we did it by helping each other

MC Megaman
They have shown some similarities to their US rap counterparts other than the musical ones.

One of their members, Ashley Walters, 19, has been charged with making threats to kill, while police recently dropped an investigation into Neutrino over alleged possession of a firearm.

 Click here to watch a clip of So Solid Crew perform Oh No (Sentimental Things) on Top of the Pops

Another way the So Solid Crew looks like replicating American rap groups will be in their efforts to create a business empire.

They already have a DJ agency, two record labels and a radio station, and are considering moving into merchandise and clothing.

'Rags to riches'

"We've been through our hard times and we struggled to get where we are," Megaman says.

"I was rags to riches but now I'm here. We did it from scratch, no banks, no loans. And we did it by helping each other.

"Everyone in the ghetto wants to make money and live the high life.

"To have a nice car and a big house and wear diamonds and nice clothes and party all night. It's all good!"

See also:

04 Oct 01 | Music
In Pictures: Mobos 2001
04 Oct 01 | Music
Mobos 2001: The winners
12 Aug 01 | Music
So Solid Crew top of the pops
02 May 01 | Music
UK garage DJ wounded
30 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Casualty theme tops charts
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