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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Megaman's controversial career
Megaman when he appeared in Nevermind the Buzzcocks
Dwayne Vincent is better known as Megaman
So Solid Crew band leader Megaman has been cleared of the murder of Colin Scarlett, who was shot outside his south London home in 2004.

Megaman, whose real name is Dwayne Vincent, was just 21 when the group, whose numbers swelled to about 30 members, shook up the UK music scene in 2000, winning Mobos and then Brit Awards.

He had made contacts in the industry through promoting garage club nights in south London.

Marred by violence

So Solid Crew's biggest hit was the number one single 21 Seconds, but after its success some of the group were regulars in the news for the wrong reasons.

So Solid Crew
So Solid Crew boasted about 30 members at one time
And, perhaps unfairly, their gigs became synonymous with violence.

A 21st birthday party for one of the members at the Astoria venue was marred by a gun fight which left two men wounded.

The Astoria scrapped a gig So Solid were due to play there at a later date and a UK tour was axed because of security fears.

A fatal shooting in Luton was also linked to the band because it happened after one of their gigs.

Although they disputed their involvement in violence, several So Solid members have been jailed for gun-related crime or assault, including Asher D and G-Man.

Megaman was quizzed over the stabbing of rapper Dizzee Rascal in Cyprus in 2003. He had been performing at the same club as Dizzee but was quickly eliminated from inquiries.

As black gun crime grew in London, So Solid were often blamed for glamorising guns.

Part of life

The influence of the band was questioned by London mayor's race advisor Lee Jasper.

He suggested the band should be more forthright in condemning the issues they were singing about.

But Megaman refused to distance the group from its controversial image, claiming gun culture was part of life.

"That's normal man we been around it from day one, shootings, people getting killed, people getting stabbed. You expect it to happen," he said in an interview.

He and other members performed at an anti-gun concert for the Disarm campaign in 2003, with largely toned-down lyrics and songs, showing their support for the cause.

Two years later, Megaman found himself in court facing a gun-related murder charge, of which he has now been cleared.




SEE ALSO
So Solid star cleared of murder
28 Sep 06 |  London
Musicians back anti-gun project
25 Apr 03 |  Entertainment
No UK tour for So Solid
05 Dec 01 |  Entertainment

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