In 2001 The So Solid Crew were a imperviable hip-hop combo, riding high in the UK singles charts on the success of their song 21 seconds. They were also part of a well-established lineage of rap groups who chose to bolster their income by a registering as a ‘crew,’ thereby making themselves available, on an ad hoc basis, as pilots of a variety of ocean going vessels and commercial aircraft.
This morning I was saddened to read that So Solid membership has fallen during the intervening decade, from a respectable peak of eight (source: Wikipedia) to just three. That’s barely enough bodies to pilot a Boeing a 747 on short and medium haul flights, and certainly nowhere near enough to adequately man a 17th century pirate ship, without having to draw upon the assistance of un-vetted tertiary members, of the kind who might conceivably form an entourage or posse. This must be a bitter irony for the remaining core members who, despite their rise to fame through a network of pirate radio stations, now lack the manpower to effectively stage a campaign of plunder and terror on the high seas.
The decline of the So Solid Crew also casts some doubt over their claims toward an extraordinary state of solidity, with its implication of an unusually high melting point and general immutability to the effects of weathering over time. Clearly some form of attrition or evaporation has occurred since 2001 to account for their greatly diminished mass and the corresponding lapse in their ability to keep things real. By comparison So Solid’s 1980s counterparts - The Rock Steady Crew - boasts a roll-call of past and present members that must surely number in the low triple figures, amply justifying their chosen moniker.
Non-haterz have presented the counter-argument that, in this modern age of computer assisted technology, a leaner crew of specialists is a more efficient prospect. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the So Solid Crew could competently pilot the Space Shuttle on a mission, were it still operational.
Regrettably this hypothesis does not stand up to close scrutiny, in the same way that the lyrics to 21 Seconds do: The 2 Live Crew boasted six members; more than enough to effectively command a modern tank in battle, giving them a clear tactical advantage over the So Solid Crew in a theoretical ground assault, where the latter would be forced to rely upon static artillery. In addition, the aforementioned doubts over So Solid’s claims toward invulnerability must surely call into question whether the three remaining members would be able to withstand a barrage of depleted uranium shells of the kind routinely deployed on the modern battlefield.
We must also take into consideration scenarios that might require So Solid to operate a vehicle over an extended period, during which shift work would be a necessity in order to meet the stringent demands of health and safety legislation. When this is taken into account their continuing status as a crew seems hopelessly compromised.