S.O.L.A.R was Dick Griffey's label which was born out of the Soul Train show, co-owned by Soul Train host Don Cornelius. After the success of the earlier Disco Soul years, they were in decline, but recently they had just put out the huge 1992 Deep Cover Soundtrack with a post-NWA Dr Dre. Their main focus had been on R&B acts but with this recent Hip Hop/Rap success they were interested in widening their view. The three Mc's were all in their 20's in 1993 and were just regular cats, making beats, chasin dime pieces and puffin izm. They had no experience of the music business and just wanted to keep doin their thing on the downlow.
When they had to change their name cause of its [obvious] similarity to the Texas group Mad Flava, the group wanted to replace it with the name "The Phlayva Continues" but the label convinced them otherwise. It would be another disagreement that lead to local and then nationwide headlines. Maximillion was the group's design guy, but the label had other ideas for the album cover. Vertical was owned by Angel Quintero, the original owner of Rollin Recs and his partner Sherman Evans who owned a clothing store in Charleston called Utopia.
The two businessmen fused their businesses and set up NuSouth Apparel. The two came up with a way to promote the group, grow their music/fashion business and make a political statement in the process. For the Da Phlayva album cover they decided to subvert the Confederate flag by switching the colours to red, black and green, representing African-American liberation and T-Shirts were made to promote the project. At a gig at Stratford High School in South Carolina a bunch of free T-Shirts were given out to the students.
Finding the T-Shirts offensive to some [racist? ha] students [parents?] the school banned anyone from wearing them or face suspension. One girl Shellmira Green, 16, chose suspension. The story reached local newspapers and then major outlets picked it up and it went on to raise the subject of racism, nationalism and regionalism on a national level. Seeing an opportunity, Quintero and Evans made a load more of the T's which they sold in their store and then all over the country. The group's relationship with Vertical began to deteriorate.
Their fight was not the fight of the label. They avoided questions about the flag when journalists asked and they didn't cooperate with the label's methods of promotion. Following them showing up late for a show where notable major label A&R men were in attendance, Vertical lost interest in the group. The whole flag/cover controversy occurred before the album had dropped and when it did it seemed the group were overshadowed by the politics.
Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more