21 Seconds

Album: They Don't Know (2001)
Charted: 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • So Solid Crew was a large UK garage band, who introduced themselves to the British public with this song. The song title alludes to the each member of the collective being given approximate 21 seconds to perform their rap. Group member Asher D recalled:

    "We tried to find a way to get the whole massive on one track to prove we were all equally part of the group. We were thinking that there's about 20 guys and how long it would take to get every one of us out there. So we just sped up the process and divided the time equally which left us 21 seconds each."
  • The song and the video set out to introduce as many of the collective as possible in the space of just three minutes. So Solid Crew not only succeeded in achieving that goal, they also became the first garage group to top the UK singles chart and the music clip won the UK 2002 BRIT Award for Best Video.
  • The rhymes reflected the crew members' life on the London streets. Megaman's opening 21 second rhymes finds him rapping.

    Yo G, roll by in a blacked out TT
    Megaman carry two gats easy
    Seeing stars, and a mister wanna jack me?


    The lyrics were criticized by politicians for promoting violence.
  • The snarky laugh at the beginning of the track is courtesy of the daughter of Lisa Maffia, the Crew's only female member. Lisa Maffia explained to Q magazine that it was her So Solid Crew colleague G-Man's idea:

    "He used to tell her to say that to her nursery school friends if they were taking the mickey out of other children. 'Ha, ha, ha, what you laughing at?' She was only 3 at the time! But the idea was that we were saying to people, what are you laughing at? We're going to be successful! And it worked."

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