Tuesday, 21 September 2004

D Double E - Top Of The Class

English language scholars looking for modern day inspiration need look no further than MC D Double E, the self professed Newham General and modern day reviver of word play.

Despite not cutting the grades when at school, D Double E and his lyric books make for the modern day Sartre ‘I loathe my childhood and all that remains of it.’ His 16 bars, which can at first glance or listen, imply irreverence and distastefulness, details a prevalent street philosophy, one where false childhood conceptions on life and illusion-ridden lifestyles are played out.

“I don’t eat bangers and mash/but I roll in the banger with mash/and if you get moved I’ll be banging the mash/quicker than a flash/bang be gone in a flash”

But to date, in many ways, DEE has been a victim of his own success. On his home turf of Forest Gate, East London he’s a hero with cult status. Walking down the road kids point him out, shouting, “ooh, ooh, it’s me, me” like he needs a reminder of his catch-phrase lyric. It’s these supposed gimmick lyrics that bring raves to a standstill, fans nearing hyperventilation, that have overshadowed his underlying talents and led to many people viewing him as little more than a novelty act.

“I just did it one day, made my voice echo on the mic and it stuck. I’ll walk into a dance in Manchester, Birmingham wherever and I all can hear is ‘ooh, ooh.’ It’s a big feeling trust me. But it’s very serious, you have to listen, I mean, I was ahead of my time, I’m doing lyrics still now that I wrote at 15.”

For DEE, it seems people are finally opening their ears. Having battled his way for the last ten years, from jungle through to (what he calls) ‘gayrage’ and now grime, it’s since parting with N.A.S.T.Y. Crew last year, alongside his co-d’s Footsie and Monkey. that his authority within the scene has become uncontestable.

“The way of getting light now (as an MC) is clashing. It’s like a cheat,” murmurs D Double E, shaking his head. “Thirty MC’s on a set, its going to be good right, but what can you do on your own? I know what I can do, I was on radio when these (yoots) were all locked in their yards on curfew.”

As his verbals and stature have grown in appeal, so it seems have his strides into mainstream territory. The only MC set to feature on Dizzee Rascal’s imminent second album, Showtime, recognition away from the urban territories is coming.

“We just did a PA at Homelands and boy, I felt like I was no one. I didn’t get that vibe like when I do a rave and everyone’s watching me. Those crowds are different, but they listen hard and the deep eruptions I heard when the music stopped must mean they heard it properly, the reality, right?”

Let buzz be the judge.

Chantelle Fiddy

A version of this article appears in the current issue of I-D Magazine

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant article...D Double IS Grime.