Caricatures

What Went Right With… D Double E?

A caricature of D Double E by What Went Wrong Or Right With...?

Born Darren Dixon, D Double E, an MC from Forest Gate, East London, is someone who’s been a mainstay in the underground UK music scene from the days of Jungle, Garage and then Grime. Originally part of N.A.S.T.Y. Crew and later Newham Generals, D Double E has been representing the Grime genre ever since it was incepted (and before it was officially named). Back in the noughties when Grime was new and untested (not to mention underground and hard as fuck) D Double E was there, slowly building his respect and rapport with fans. Here’s a couple of Newham General tracks from back in the day in case you’ve never heard their music. Firstly “Frontline” from the mid-2000s…

…And “I’m A General” from the late-2000s. (The chorus “I’m a general, they just about made you a sergeant” is catchy as hell)….

As someone who has been part of the genre throughout its evolution, you can hear D Double E’s distinct amalgamation of all the genres that moulded Grime; from Hip-Hop, Garage, as well as Bashment. Because of this, he has over the years, laid his highly original vocals over everything from Jungle, Garage, Drum-And-Bass, Dubstep, to regular Grime production. D Double E’s unique, matter-of-fact vocal style which switches from a rat-a-tat-tat, rapid-fire to a more steady flow depending on the beat and the vibe, is potent stuff to listen to. Yelling “oowah oowah”, “bluku, bluku” or “bud-a-bup-bup”, his lines and ad-libs have over the years become grime scene quotables and his overt use of east-end slang and use of identical rhymes has made him one of the most original and unique musicians out there.

Aside from his album with Newham Generals and his many appearances on various mixtapes over the years, D Double E has become synonymous with a sporadic but seemingly endless amount of singles which considering the time-span are all either still highly enjoyable or outright classics.

From “Street Fighter Riddim” which sampled and referenced the Capcom arcade game…

…to the thundering, bass-infused “Wolly”, D Double E has been responsible for a massive amount of outstanding Grime music…

There was also the buzzing and energetic “Percy”…

And the humourous “Lovely Jubbly”…

Safe to say, D Double has created and featured on many standout tracks (too many to embed here). Just this year he’s dropped “Better Than The Rest” featuring Wiley…

…And “Nang” featuring Skepta…

…Alongside the recently released “Back Then” which wets the appetite for a full-length album…

With numerous EPs and singles to his name, D Double E’s debut album Jackuum! is set to drop very soon, and hopefully it’ll satisfy all those who have been waiting almost two decades for a solo LP. Even though his career in music has been going on for years, D Double E (often described as every Grime MC’s favourite Grime MC) has yet to become a household name like other overground artists who have crossed-over and garnered mainstream recognition and awards. It’s a shame that the likes of Stormzy is played everywhere on Pop radio but real Grime rarely gets airplay outside of specialist radio channels. Since the majority of this site’s visitors are from the USA, I’m guessing that D Double E isn’t widely known in North America and that’s a shame. This talented MC needs more overseas recognition. If you’re someone who’s unaware of D Double E’s music, I urge you to seek him out.

On The Double.

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