No one has forgotten the tube “Bye Bye” of Menelik, which made rock the career of the rapper at the time. Now 47 years old, the artist tells us about his new life and tells us about his new life!
Born in Cameroon, Ménélik made a sensation in the 90s with light titles like “Bye Bye”, fifth of the Top Singles in 1998 and sold 750,000 copies at the time, “Quel aventure”, “Je me Souviens “or” Tout baigne “. But for several years, the rapper has become rare. At 47, the artist agreed to answer questions from Pure Charts on the occasion of his return in the revival tour “The golden age of French rap” , which will pass at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris on 27 March. ” There is a whole generation that has not had the opportunity to see us on stage … We will make combinations between artists, new things and we retrace the”History of French rap with small films.I would have dreamed of attending a concert like that.For me, it is an anthological, “he declared with the desire to transmit this energy to the new generation and his children.
Especially since Ménélik arrived in rap by accident after a meeting with MC Solaar . ” It was in 1989, a faculty teacher presented us. A year later, he released “Bouge de là”, I called him to congratulate him, he told me to go to the studio because Jimmy Jay is preparing a compilation. I was in license, MC Solaar takes me on tour, I ask my father if I can do it … I took a sabbatical and fortunately for me it worked! “He remembered with a smile, confident that it was his best experience:” We were integrated into the show, it was fantastic! For a first experience of the scene, I could not ask for better. We are always in touch, we are very friends. The only thing I regret is that we never worked together. The project of a rapprochement, it could make sense .
Remember “Bye Bye” of Menelik:
His career at the summit was however short-lived. ” What I’ve always criticized my record company is that it’s been easy. We have only released dancing singles, light. I’m more a melancholic rapper though. I sold records, but ultimately really listened to what I was really doing, my writing, “he said, even though he did not regret anything:” Financially, yes it was interesting. There are always royalties that fall. But it could have been even more if we had been a little smarter. We were focused on artistic, we did not know how to occupy important positions like manager, and we did not know how to frame the business. Young people today, with the Internet in particular, they are more business. They monetize with more intelligence. But it brought back! When you sign in record company, you have your percentages. But it could have been better “.
Despite the success, the rapper has always kept his feet on Earth: ” I come from an African family, if we fly, we are put back! You have a family, you have people watching you. I was the second, I had responsibilities. It helped me too. Success is not natural, it is not obvious. Afterwards, we rebuild “. For Menelik had become aware of the idea that it would be ephemeral: ” We are not prepared for it! I always thought it could stop, so I took advantage of it … When the music stopped, I tried to find a meaning . Becoming an entrepreneur, the artist has created a line of golf clothing (his other passion) and he is currently working on a new album, After having put his career in parentheses: ” I spent 7-8 years without writing a line. Life has carried me away! (Laughter) I was married, then divorced … I started writing, writing, writing. When I sing my new lyrics or my old songs before the audience, it’s like it was yesterday. Nothing has changed! “.
Remember “Everything bathes”:
It is a chance encounter with a piano teacher who recently upset the fate of Menelik. ” He played me a piece of Liszt and I thought there was something to do. I wrote a text, everything came back, as if it had never stopped! We have chained a second, a third … The concept of the album I leave is to mix classical titles and I repeat over it, “he entrusted, enthusiastic, admitting that the scene is missing : ” When I write, the objective is not to make a tube. I want to make a rap that matches my age. The pitfalls of people of our generation are often to want to rapper like the young. But rap has evolved! I am not out of sync with what is being done, I am aware of who works, but the artistic proposal must be different. I thought a lot and I went to something completely different but always hip-hop and that remains in the sounds of the rap that I defend: the text first and musicality. And it’s not necessarily what young people listen to . ”
Watch Ménélik’s “Quel aventure” clip:
At the head of his independent label Krma, Menelik plans to publish his new album before the summer, which will contain four old titles and eight unpublished : ” There is practically no rhythm, just a classical piano, a flamenco guitar and Me who rappe. It brought me to incredible peaks. I found the rap with which I want to age “. A project that he counts more than ever to defend on stage: ” I did not see myself raping beyond 30 years but every time I take the microphone, I want to prove to the whole world that flow is always There, that rap is still there. It’s a unique moment! “. But that’s not all ! ” I’m trying to develop an investment fund in urban art. Graffiti was the basis of street art. To try to sell the artists in a better way “revealed the interpreter of” Je t’aime comme t’es “.
On the future, Menelik was confident: ” If I found the way once, I could find it .” But he is not ready for anything to come back and in particular refused the tour “Stars 90″: ” On the one hand because it was not someone hip hop who did, and on the other hand, The conditions were not … If we were “exploited” in the 90s, I will not be exploited now in the same way! “. Participate in “Dances with stars”? ” I dance well! Frankly, I have a sense of rhythm! (Laughs) But that’s not my thing. It’s not in line with what I want to do . ” Serene, Ménélik focuses on his future projects, He is always surprised that he is recognized on the street: ” Often, when I walk with my 6 year old son, people recognize me, ask me for autographs, pictures, so he asks me:” Dad, Do you know them, but are you known? ” (…) I say to myself that it is a reward for the little happiness that I could bring to them . What an adventure !