What becomes of Menelik, 20 years after the tube “Bye Bye”?
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 her new life and tells us about her new life!
Born in Cameroon, Ménélik made a sensation in the 90s with lightweight titles such as “Bye Bye”, fifth in the Top Singles in 1998 and sold at 750,000 copies at the time, “Quel aventure”, “Je me souviens” or ” Everything’s fine”. 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’s a whole generation that has not had the opportunity to see us on stage (…) We will make combinations between artists, unpublished things and we retrace the history of French rap with small films.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.
“Success is not natural” Especially since Menelik arrived in the rap by accident after a meeting with MC Solaar. “It was in 1989, a professor of the university 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.
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. ”
“I spent 7-8 years without writing a line” 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 created a line of golf clothes (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! “.
“I did not see myself raping after 30 years” 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’m not out of sync with what’s happening, I’m aware of who works, but the artistic proposal has to be different. I thought a lot and I went to something completely different but still hip-ho