Sunday, 21 July 2013

"Bad Young Brother" Lyrics

Again, please help with lyrics at these positions represented by the question marks:@0:42 - The crowd shouts out "??????????????"
UPDATE: "Thank God they're here" - Thanx to Jonathan Warren

@1:45 - ?????????????? and old beats.
UPDATE: Jonathan Warren suggests "fast rhymes & old beats".  I'm thinking it sounds like "boss rhymes & old beats" but I'll go with Jonathan for now.


Well the first time you heard my voice you were rockin'
to the rhythm.  Your hands couldn't stop finger poppin'
to the sound of the drum & bass that kicks.
When Derek B's on the decks other DJs get licked.
You don't believe me?  Well it ain't no joke.
With him behind me I'll never go broke
because he makes those beats sweeter than honey.
We record it, then rake in the money.
I got thousands of rhymes inside my mind.
I hit the button on recall, their easy to find.
At the show my voice booms on the PA.
Other rappers shit their pants - It's the judgement day.
We're the new crew that's come from nowhere.
The crowd shouts out "Thank God they're here"
We'll capture your attention like a news flash
and spread our sound like an infectious rash
of def break beats, each & every one.
Now your woppin & boppin to the tempo on the drum.
I knew it wouldn't be long before you got into it.
Yo D! What?  Show 'em how you do it.

Oh yeah!  Chief Rocker Derek B is a bad young brother. (x2)

Don't need to do no drugs, I'm on a natural high.
The lord's my shepherd.  That is why.
I'm odds on favorite to win this rap race.
Put your money on me boy, it's gonna be safe.
An investment, a long term security
This LP's like a painting by Da Vinci.
A masterpiece of killer cuts & rhymes.
My DJ Derek B (Yo!) is my partner in crime.
Nobody can cut quite like this man.
Tears the roof off of single jam.
Sucker DJs run trying to escape
but the damage is done.  It's just too late.
All homeboys like def beats, hard breaks
and cuts that rumble like earthquakes.
Fly girls scream, then they holler.
We get paid in pounds, not in dollars
for our fast rhymes and old beats.
You know we're London's finest Kings of the street.
Now that I know that cha all into it,
Yo D!  (Yeah?)  Show 'em how you do it.

Oh yeah!  Chief Rocker Derek B is a bad young brother. (x4)

Put the needle to the groove that'll make you move
with cuts like a razor - some rough, some smooth.
Rap's next generation - a 90's beat boy.
I ain't no imitation.  I'm the real McCoy.
Comin to ya live & directly,
I got Honors, Masters, PHD
& a Noble Peace Prize for my rap.
And Derek B's got a Grammy Award for his scratch.
We dress all in black.  Never, ever touch crack.
We wear fresh, fly Adidas.  Not Nike - they wak!
Black 501's, Versace leather jacket.
When we do any jams we always pack it.
Like royalty, we'll be around forever.
Like Lennon & McCartney, we're perfect together.
Like an 808 bass drum we sound real good.
The beat keeps droppin, the way it should.
The 1200's are spinnin.  My manager's grinnin.
My Mum's so proud of me now that I am winnin
and I know that you're well into it.
Yo D!  What?  Show 'em how you do it.

Oh yeah!  Chief Rocker Derek B is a bad young brother.

Bust the beat!

Oh yeah!  Chief Rocker Derek B is a bad young brother. (x2)

Bust the beat!

Oh yeah!  Chief Rocker Derek B is a bad young brother.

This shit is dope, huh?
Alright.  Yo D, bussit.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Derek B - "Bad Young Brother" Music Video Clip

I've uploaded a copy of the video for Bad Young Brother to YouTube because it seems to be better quality than what's already there.  If you want the original file: Download

The audio in the video is an edit of the superior Billy Beat Mix.  The full-length Billy Beat Mix was a bonus track on the CD versions of Bullet From a Gun.  Available Here

Monday, 21 January 2013

Derek B vs Naughty by Nature - Good Groove OPP Mashup Remix

So what if the chorus' and verses of this mash don't matchup perfectly - the vibe is definitely there!
If you want to make your own Good Groove mashup the acapella is here.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Derek B - Who Dares Wins (Original Hip Hop Mix)

Wow!  I never knew this track existed - AND IT'S GOOD!!!
At the end of this track Tim Westwood states the track was self-produced but I've got the feeling it's on HardNoise's SoundCloud because they had something to do with the production or maybe it's a remix they did.

Westwood also states the track would be forthcoming on Phonogram but I can't find any evidence of it's release.  It seems only the inferior "Total Recall Mix" was relegated to the B-Side of the terrible (sorry Derek, I'm just being honest) "You've Got to Look Up".

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Derek B - Good Groove

1 - Good Groove
2 - Good Groove (Instrumental)
3 - Good Groove (Acapella)
4 - Good Groove (Guitar Licks)

Monday, 14 January 2013

Friday, 4 January 2013

Derek B - Rock the Beat

1 - Rock The Beat
2 - Rock The Beat (Lindens Dangerous Dub)
3 - Rock The Beat (Bonus Beats)
4 - Rock The Beat (Instrumental)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Derek B - We've Got the Juice

1 - We've Got The Juice (Fresh Squeezed Mix)
2 - Power Move (With X-Tra Strength Boyee!!!)
3 - We've Got The Juice (Instrumental)

1 - We've Got The Juice - Fresh Squeezed Mix
2 - Power Move - With X-Tra Strength Boyee
3 - We've Got The Juice - Cut Thru Steel Mix
4 - We've Got The Juice - Instrumental\

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Derek B - Bad Young Brother

1 - Bad Young Brother (Billy Beat Remix)
2 - Good Groove (Changing Gears Mix)
3 - Bad Young Brother (Steve Ett Remix)
4 - Bad Young Brother (Instrumental - Bad Young Dub)
CD 2

1 - Bad Young Brother (The Hyped To F--- Mix)
2 - Bad Young Brother (Remix)
3 - Bad Young Brother (Remix Instrumental)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Derek B: Rapper & Producer Who Became the First UK Hip-Hop Artist to Infiltrate the British Pop Charts

A good article on Derek:

In the mid-1980s, hip-hop was still an underground phenomenon in Britain, mostly heard on pirate radio stations and the occasional specialist show. Before Hip-Hop Connection magazine, before MTV Base, before 1Xtra, Derek B, who has died of a heart attack, was a pioneer of British hip-hop, the first homegrown rapper to score a Top 20 pop hit, with "Good Groove" in February 1988, the first to appear on Top of the Pops, and the first to have an album – Bullet from a Gun, with a guest appearance from Public Enemy – on the UK charts for over two months.

In an impressive series of firsts, Derek B also became the first British rapper to feature in the teen bible Smash Hits, the first to appear at Wembley Stadium – after Salt-N-Pepa and before Stevie Wonder, at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday concert in June 1988 – and the first to secure a management deal with a US company, Rush Artist Management, run by the rap mogul Russell Simmons of Def Jam fame.

Hip-hop was very much seen as a novelty genre at the time, and, despite supporting West Ham, Derek B co-wrote "Anfield Rap (Red Machine in Full Effect)", released by Liverpool FC before the FA Cup final they lost to Wimbledon in May 1988. Co-written by Craig Johnston, the Top 3 single featured John Aldridge and Steve McMahon, the only two Scousers, making fun of the accents of team-mates Jim Beglin, Bruce Grobelaar and Alan Hansen as well as John Barnes, who seemed to benefit the most from Derek B's coaching, since he rapped again on the chart-topping "World in Motion", the official England team song for the 1990 World Cup, recorded with New Order.

Born Derek Boland in 1965, Derek B was the son of Jenny Boland, a Trinidadian nurse who became a nurse tutor. He grew up in Woodford, north-east London. The Bolands went back to the West Indies for a couple of years but returned to Britain in 1978. At the time, the young Derek loved rock groups like The Who as much as the soul music of Al Green and Aretha Franklin and the reggae of Bob Marley. By the early 1980s he was a mobile DJ, learning to mix with DJ Froggy (who died in 2008), making regular appearances at Bentleys in Canning Town, the Wag in Soho and on the pirate radio station Kiss FM, where he played soul, funk and rap on his Good Groove show, before running his own makeshift station, WBLS.

Such was his knowledge and feel for American hip-hop that in 1986 he was hired by Simon Harris to help license US material and compile the Def Beats 1 collection for the Music of Life label. Short of one track, Boland – combining the personas of Derek B, his DJ alias, and EZQ, his MC alter ego – made "Rock the Beat" with Harris and kicked off British hip-hop. Issued as a 12in single in 1987, "Rock the Beat" was championed by Dave Pearce on BBC Radio London and Tim Westwood on Capital Radio, and Derek B developed a following as a rapper and for his productions and remixes, most notably for Erik B. & Rakim, Curiosity Killed the Cat and Was/Not Was.

He recorded more tracks for Music of Life, including "Get Down", and eventually made the Top 20 with "Good Groove". He was offered a deal by Phonogram, one of the Polygram companies, and the major gave him his own Tuff Audio label for "Bad Young Brother" – his second Top 20 single – and "We've Got The Juice" – his third chart entry – and the Bullet from a Gun album. "Never take on something you ain't got the shoulders for," he said at the time.

Following his appearance at the Mandela concert in 1988, Boland and his mother served as the leitmotiv in a World in Action television documentary looking at the challenges the British-born children of black immigrants faced. The revelation that police in London regularly stopped Boland at the wheel of his Porsche demonstrated how little attitudes had changed. Indeed, the rapper said he had sold the car rather than deal with the hassle on an almost daily basis. He came across as articulate, and convincingly argued the need for positive role models within the black British community.

"We're black people in a white society that can see no way of getting on," he said. "No one is there to speak for us. The importance of political rap music is that is gives pride to kids that have no other medium to give it to them. They need to get positive messages about their race, their colour, their creed."

Thanks to the tie-up with Simmons, Derek B toured the world with Public Enemy and Run DMC in the autumn of 1988, and saw his album released on Profile in the US. He could fall back on the same clich├ęs as his US counterparts, boasting in "Get Down":

"We kept on goin' for hours and hours,
Straight after to the bathroom for a shower,
Just after leaving she held me close and said,
I think you're the greatest thing in bed... "

But despite piling on the references to the King's Road, Norman Jay, Westwood, The Prisoner and James Bond on the album, he was criticised for his American-style delivery and failed to develop enough of a British identity to sustain interest. Indeed, "You've Got to Look Up", his last single for Tuff Audio, issued in 1990, failed to make even the lower reaches of the charts.

He subsequently concentrated on production work with the British girl rappers The Cookie Crew and blue-eyed soul duo Bell Curtis but had seldom been in the public eye in recent years. However, it is undeniable that Derek B, the She Rockers featuring Betty Boo and Wee Papa Girl Rappers paved the way for the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Sway, Wiley, Estelle and Ty.

Pierre Perrone


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Bullet From a Gun Lyrics

I was surprised to find that Derek B's lyrics aren't available on the web.  So, I got the bright idea to add them myself. Over time I'll be adding all of Derek B's lyrics.  It wasn't until I started transcribing them that I realised there were some lyrics I couldn't make out so please if you can help:
@2:26 - So the fresh gets raided - brew at ten it's gone????
@3:34 - ???? comes over & asks me what?????

The first problem line you're looking for is "So the fridge gets raided, brew and Tennent's gone".
Thanx to Jonathan Warren.


My name is Q - EZQ
(Who is number one?)
I am number one.

James Bond 007 - License to Kill,
EZQ / Derek B - License to Ill!
On Her Majesty's Secret Service of Rap.
America, you're under attack!
From the crowned prince of poetry.
The Man With The Golden Mic is me.
You thought you'd never hear anybody with the gall
but EZQ & Derek B got Thunderballs!
I'll Never Say Never Say Never Again.
I'm not From Russia With Love, you see I'm from England.
I'll Live & Let you Die.  Your soul will get cold.
Your body paralyzed as my rhyme unfolds.
A billion dollar brain tickin inside my head,
like Diamonds Are Forever & I've got street cred.
From the East End.  Always say it loud:
Def Beat Boy, Black & Proud!
I'm a warrior like Attila the Hun,
that's why my posse call me Bullet From a Gun.

    Who's number one?
    (Bullet From a Gun!)
    My posse having fun?
    (Yeah, Bullet From a Gun!)
    You're sure gonna get some.

East London Posse raving all over town.
Not invited to the party we break the door down.
Cooling with my homeboys to a real lame beat
as the girlies stand around about to fall asleep.
Sixteen strong, my posse take over.
D - on the decks, EZQ - Mic Controller.
All of a sudden the party starts to rock
to the Def Beat sounds of my Hip Hop.
The volume increases, your ears wanna bleed.
B-Boys going crazy, suckers doing speed.
Fight breaks out, place gets wrecked.
Don't bother me, boy, you'll only get decked
Out at the speed of light.
We came to party, not to fight
So the fridge gets raided - brew and Tennent's gone.
The quiet start rockin, the sensi smells strong.
Shaggin & shakin.  Speakers start ta pop,
the amps overload, the party's gotta stop.
A roar from the posse with the gold around the neck,
each one against the wall with a girlie in check-
mate.  The game's over & won.
We're outta here like a Bullet From a Gun.

    Who's number one?
    (Bullet From a Gun!)
    My posse having fun?
    (Yeah, Bullet From a Gun!)
    You're sure gonna get some.

    Who's number one?
    (Bullet From a Gun!)
    My posse having fun?
    (Yeah, Bullet From a Gun!)
    You're sure gonna get some.   


Take a trip to a park to see an MC battle.
Hot sunny day.  Skeezers like cattle.
The E.L. Posse all over the place
like government agents - no time to waste.
Standing in the corner with my arms crossed.
Laughing at the rapper who just lost.
Sucker taken out & I guess it's kind of funny
cos he's rapping for nuttin while I'm making the money.
Nucker(?) comes over & asks me what
he has to do to get all the way to the top.
I said, "I'm a funky junky of the Hip Hop sound.
I take the shit serious, no messing around.
My rhyme's like a bull & oh so strong.
I wear the freshest clothes like Louis Vuitton.
I get to jams early, you get there late.
Then, setup cold ambush on the 808.
I'm a pro, bro and when it's time to go
I make sure I'll let the people know who's running the show.
When I'm on the mic I make sure I rock the rave.
Make the girlies go crazy - throw their panties on stage.
One more thing while you're listenin son,
make sure the rap's delivered like a Bullet From a Gun."

    Who's number one?
    (Bullet From a Gun!)
    My posse having fun?
    (Yeah, Bullet From a Gun!)
    You're sure gonna get some.

    That's right I am number one & I'm here to stay.
    Ain't going no place, no way.

    One More Time

    Who's number one?
    (Bullet From a Gun!)
    My posse having fun?
    (Yeah, Bullet From a Gun!)
    You're sure gonna get some.

    Yeah that sounds good to me.  You like that?  (Yeah!)

    Ok let's chill.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Derek B - World in Action

These files were shared by Simon Harris who signed & produced Derek B.

1988 ITV Documentary about British rapper Derek B (Derek Boland) and the challenges young UK blacks faced in the 1980s.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Derek B T-Shirt


I’m delighted to announce that Derek’s family have granted me permission to do a limited run of T-shirts featuring the image from the front cover of his ‘Bullet from a Gun ‘ LP.
At the moment I am asking you to vote on whether you would like to buy this T-Shirt. The cost will be £25 which includes free shipping anywhere in the world. I need a minimum of 30 votes in order to take the shirt into production, so I will allow the voting to take place until the end of the year and then after the New Year I will begin taking orders (as long as we have enough interest). The orders will be done on a ‘pre-order’ basis… meaning that you will have a few weeks to place your order and then I will print up the required number of shirts.
50% of profits will go straight to Derek’s family.
The T-shirt will be a heavyweight Black shirt with a 3 colour screen-print finish, lightweight and ladies fit shirts will also be available.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - It Takes Two (Tuff Audio Mixes) 1988 FLAC & mp3

A couple remixes by Derek B for this classic jam.  Personally I prefer the original.

Vocal Edit
Tuff Audio Mix Take 1
Vocal Version
Tuff Audio Mix Edit
Tuff Audio Mix Take 2
320kbps mp3

01.  Get On The Dance Floor (The 'Sky' King Remix) [06:55]
02.  Get On The Dance Floor (The 'Sky' King Dub) [06:31]
03.  It Takes Two (Vocal Version) [05:01]
04.  It Takes Two (Tuff Audio Mix Take 1) [06:07]
Flac or mp3
320kbps mp3

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Liverpool FC - Anfield Rap

Derek B, the London hip-hop artist who co-wrote Liverpool's famous Anfield Rap, has died of a heart attack aged 44.
The 1980s star - real name Derek Boland - was hand-picked by Craig Johnston to create the club's 1988 FA Cup song after the Aussie midfielder heard Derek's hit single Bad Young Brother.
Johnston said: "I went to London and sought out a guy called Derek B who was Britain's first ever rapper. This is before rap had even come to Britain's shores and I was on it and I went to this guy and said: 'Look it's a mickey-take - let's write it'.
"So I wrote the words and he got the Twist and Shout hook. There wasn't a single Englishman in the team at the time. They were all Scots, Irish, Welsh, a Dane, a Zimbabwean, an Australian. So the whole thing was about the dressing room craic. It was about McMahon and Aldridge and accents and how the other lads didn't talk like them:
"Ah eh mate, we're great me and you but the other lads don't talk like we do. No they don't talk like we do, do they though la, we'll have to learn them to talk proper."
"The whole thing was about accents and how there were only two who had the proper Scouse accent. Now and again I get a royalty from Virgin Records and it's always a cheque for like £1.27 or 89p. I never bank it because it's not worth it."

Source:  Anfield Rap co-writer Derek B dead at 44 - Football Banter -

The producer is credited as Tuff Audio on the sleeve.  You can hear Derek rap the intro.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Hip Hop's Greatest Logos

Ah... to have a catchy logo.  The goal of every designer behind any record ever.  Derek B had one.  I loved it when I was a kid & I still do today.  Two pistols but don't get it twisted - This is pre-gangster.  The symbolism is more reminiscent of a coat-of-arms - No doubt inspired by Derek's James Bond themed "Bullet From a Gun".  I cleaned up the logo for the blog title & thought I'd share it, along with my favourite Hip Hop logos (in no particular order).

Monday, 3 October 2011

Was (Not Was) - Spy in the House of Love (Dr. X In Full Effect Mix) 1988

This remix is so reliant on samples it wouldn't turn a profit in today's litigious industry.  It follows the style of successful club tunes of the era, namely "Check This Out" by LA Mix, "Beat Dis" by Bomb the Bass and MARRS's "Pump Up the Volume".  The remixed components really dominate, virtually rendering the original track insignificant.  I'm surprised that on most releases it seems the remix was called the Dr X. in Full Effect Mix.  I would have thought using Derek B's name more prominently would result in cross promotion benefiting everyone.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Cookie Crew - Bad Girls (1989)

Derek produced this track for the British duo.  It sticks to the formula that had proved to be a winner for his own releases - Innovative sampling, tight programming, catchy loops & quality scratching.  It's one of the better efforts he contributed for other artists.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Special-T - It's Your Love (1983)

As far as I can tell this is the first release that Derek was ever involved with.  Producer Derek Boland.  I'd have thought this was released in the UK but I can only find evidence of it's release in the US.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Who the Hell is EZQ?!?

Before Shock G was Humpty Hump.
Before Raekwon called himself Lex Diamonds.
Derek B had Hip Hop's first alter ego - EZQ!

Derek even gave thanx to EZQ in the liner notes of "Bullet From a Gun"!

So how does EZQ fit into the Derek B puzzle?  You could be forgiven for assuming Derek B is an MC.  But read the lyrics carefully - He's the DJ!  EZQ is the MC!

Confused?  After 25 years I know I am

On his first release Derek Boland established his duality - Rock the Beat:
"Well Derek B-B-B-B got the cuts you like.
The incredible EZQ is on the mic."
He'd even talk to his alter ego.
"Yo Derek!  Rock the Beat!"
"cause I've got Derek B & he's on the set.
Started out in a nightclub when I decided to chill
but I couldn't find a DJ to fit the bill."
"when I found that sound good enouogh for me,
put my hands to my eyes - saw Derek B.
Derek B tried a whip that would not quit
With bare hands he stands.  No time to quit.

"D on the decks.  EZQ - Mic Controller"

And he is quick to not just praise his DJ but brag about their partnership - Get Down:
"My DJ Derek B is best."
"EZ-Q on the mic & Derek B's got juice.
The first time you heard us we left you in a shock.
You didn't realise that Derek B could rock."
"We are the duo from London town"
"Derek B's hands are quicker than the eye.
The crossfader flies on the GLI."
"...he can transform.
My DJ's the king so give him his crown."

All City
"Listen to EZQ cause I ain't lyin."
"Master of the beat - Derek B the warlock
and me, EZQ mean definite road block.
When we do any show in any town"

Power Move:
"Easy come, easy go.  EZQ on the mic."
"Gymnastic elocution comes easy to the Q."

Human Time Bomb:
"Derek B cuts the record so precise"
"EZQ on the mic right from the start"

We Got the Juice:
"EZQ makin it loud and clear."
"Yo D!  Call it home baby."
"Me & Derek B well we got he juice" - In live versions he can be heard rapping "Me & my posse..." instead.  Apparently not a change-of-heart strategy to void confusion because at the beginning of this performance he definitely wants you to know "It's EZQ!"

The alter egos would even converse!  Good Groove:

"OK D? What's that? Breakdown!"

Good Groove
"Derek B's on the cut...You wanna take us on?"
"D's flexing the decks and his diamond's in the slot,
through the Stanton, through the mixer.  Now the speakers' gettin hot!"

Good Groove + Def Beat Boy:
"My DJ's so bad he can cut through steel
and EZQ's with the rhyme given you the real deal."

Def Beat Boy:
"EZQ gettin potent, rappin hour after hour"

Boland really went out of his way to solidify the two personas.  Giving EZQ an american accent & Derek B sounding British.  Success:
"Yo D!  Yeah? You know that def B line you was runnin on me? Go on, yeah.  Give it to me please.  Alright, sweet.  Hold on.  What, like this?  Yeah that's right."

He even did a song about his DJ!!!  Bad Young Brother:
"When Derek B's on the decks other DJ's get licked.
You don't believe me?  Well it ain't no joke.
With him behind me I'll never go broke
because he makes those beats sweeter than honey.
We record it then rake in the money."
"Yo D!  What?  Show em how you do it."
"My DJ Derek B is my partner in crime.  Nobody can cut quite like this man."
"Yo D!  Yeah?  Show em how you do it.  Alright."
"A nobel peace prize for my rap
and Derek B's got a grammy award for his scratch."
"Like Lennon & McCartney we're perfect together."
"Yo D!  What?  Show em how you do it.  Sweet."

 When it was time to release a music video Boland addressed the duality using special effects to appear as both MC & DJ:

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Derek B Interview in Vapors (1989)

These interviews with Derek B appeared in the February 1989 Issue 4 of Vapors - an underground Australian, and probably the first, Hip Hop magazine.  The initial interview was conducted prior to touring Australia, and the latter during the tour.

"In some ways, losing Derek is like taking Koh-I-Nor away from the Crown Jewel, and yet in another way it's like releasing a young lion from captivity." - Chris France, Music of Life

Take 1:  And Derek B is about to take a shower in a hotel room in Belgium, having spent 12 hours on road and sea travelling from London to the next gig on the mainland of Europe.  But ever glad to talk about himself and Hip Hop, he puts the soap and shampoo down to take the phone call.

The Human Time Bomb, Bad Young Brother and Crown Prince of Poetry is soon asking about what the weather will be like, are there any decent soccer teams down here, and how big are the venues.

As part of a tour which includes Public Enemy, Run DMC and EPMD, the crew called in on the UK and are spreading the gospel of rap in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Scandinavia and Italy.

"English crowds have been good to me - everywhere except in London, that is, 'cos they've known me since I started , and are jealous of what I've done.  The East London Posse still follow me round the country, but I've grown up and away from the gang situation, so they have to understand that I must concentrate on new projects and can't afford to hang around with posse all day.

"This tour is important, so all my efforts are going into it - I've stopped DJ'ing at the Wag Club and cooled off on the record label (Tuff Audio) for the time being.  Audiences have been good, ranging from ten year old kids with their parents right through to adults - and a mix of black and white aswell.

What's the truth behind reports of Hip Hop gigs attracting violence?

"As in everything these days, there's always a minority of idiots trying to spoil it for the mamority, but in the UK there's more trouble at football matches than at gigs.  It's the gutter press blowing things out of proportion just to create a publicity stunt.  It's well over the top - like the story of Bros being heroin addicts!  I enjoyed 'Colors', but you've got to be careful not to glamourise it, as people get the wrong idea.

On his debut album 'Bulet From a Gun' - in one of the rhymes, 'Success', Derek raps: "I've been cut by people for the color of my skin - been rejected from doors who wouldn't let my ass in."  Racism reared it's ugly head this year at the annual Hip Hop event "UK Fresh '88", which wasn't allowed to go ahead due to complaint from local residents around Wembley Arena - the case is being investigated by the Race Relations Committee.

"I'm not in this only for the money, but to make a social comment to the next generation, to say that we can change things and it doesn't have to be violent.  We need more recognition for black people - more black politicians and so on.

Derek had done his apprenticeship in the business of music - starting up the Music of Life label with Simon Harris and acting as A&R man.  But he was to outgrow that job and establish himself as an artist in his own right.  Recognition arrived in the shape of signing to Russell Simmons' Rush Management, and a deal with Phonogram Records.

"Of course I want to break it in the USA, and I know it's hard, but Rush will give me more of  chance there, and all the rap crews help each other out.  It's like a big family, 'cos everyone's in it together - that's why everyone gets credits on album sleeves.  I'm not afraid of commercial success if it comes along - I'm working my ass off for it anyway.
"Hip Hop is still underground - still growing up, and is at last being accepted as a musical form, not just a fashion.

In rhymes like 'Powermove' and 'Alright Now' Derek remains cynical about signing contracts - where Adidas boots meet men in suits - and playing the system, "you've got to play cos you can't beat it."  But he remains firmly with his feet on the ground, and hungry for bigger and better.  London's Number One making the world Get Down signs off from the Northern Hemisphere, and into the waiting shower.

Take 2: And Rap's Next Generation, Easy Q or just plain Derek Boland is in Terra Australis, on a balcony in Pitt Street, Sydney, rapping on the mike with Run DMC, and DJ Scratch on the turntables.

Their three days here took the tour to Melbourne and Sydney, with Derek having a ball - "you've got to understand these guys (Run DMC) are among my heroes, so I'm privileged to be here.

How was the rest of the European trip?

"We got good reactions everywhere.  Public Enemy are cool guys - friendly - the press has exaggerated their lyrics too much.  Pop Will Eat Itself were supporting as well, but they got canned off the stage, which was a shame 'cos audiences should be more open-minded.  I was impressed that thre was no aggrevation at the concerts here - they were just into it and getting down.  [He obviously didn't see the reaction to Mighty Big Crime when they supported Velore & Double O.]  Australia is kicking it!  You're in an enviable position living here, and you should know that you're lucky to live out here.

What's the word on the new album?

"Hopefully you'll see it next March/April.  I'm working with DJ Scratch this time - on 'Bullet' I did all the scratching and sampling myself - but this guy's from some other planet, so we'll be coming up with new ideas and everyone's gonna have to watch out!

"There's a chance that Chuck D and Run might produce a track each.  The next single is called 'Who Dares Wins' (at which point Derek gives us an unaccompanied rap along with improvised scratching sounds).  It's about defending myself, 'cos I still get dissed and I want to show that I'm doing alright and getting somewhere.  Who knows, we might even get sponsored by Adidas.

Watching cartoons in his hotel room inspires Derek to make up a rap about The Flinstones to the tune of the Enemy's 'Rebel Without a Pause' - The Wilma, The Pebbles - they live next door to the Rubbles!  The crew take a car down to Bondi Beach, and Derek's out looking for a surfboard to hire, or he's back in the the hotel lobby tagging on the noticeboard!

"When I get home I might be working with the Cookie Crew, and producing with the She Rockers and Saimon Harris.  I'll be working on Tuff Audio, and there's the album to work on.  We had a good trip here, and it's good to see people are into Hip Hop; I'll be back for sure.

Back to a London winter and leaving behind his first tour of Australia, we should be glad the initial ice has been broken, and must look forward to more tours and more music.

Download the whole magazine here

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Derek B - Bullet From a Gun (1988) FLAC or mp3

This could be my favourite album of all time.  It defines Hip Hop's coming of age.  The perfect balance of drum programming, sampled loops and scratching.

When the time came to compile Bullet From a Gun the total running time was too long.  Since vinyl still dominated in 1988 some songs were shortened to fit.  CD's on the other hand could hold up to 74 minutes of music so bonus tracks were added.  Unfortunately though some tracks on CD were the versions shortened to fit on vinyl.  The good news is between the US & UK releases we can salvage all the full length versions.

UK  Good Groove (5:52)
US  Goodgroove (6:31)
UK  Rock the Beat (5:30)
US  Rock the Beat (4:42)
UK  We've Got the Juice (4:37)
US  We Got the Juice (5:44)

"Rock the Beat" benefits the most from having the full release.  The backwards beat is a sonic classic & was unfortunately trimmed for the edited version.

CD  Bonus Tracks:
UK  Rock the Beat
UK  Derek B's Got...
UK  Bad Young Brother (Billy Beat Mix)
US  Alright Now
US  Def Beat Boy

Surprising to see "Rock the Beat" is a bonus track in the UK.  I'd have included it before "Human Time Bomb" & maybe a couple others.

So here is the definitive version of Bullet From a Gun that I have compiled.  Combining the best of the UK & US releases it is the only version you will ever need:
  1. Bullet From a Gun
  2. Bad Young Brother (Billy Beat Mix)
  3. Power Move
  4. Human Time Bomb
  5. All City
  6. Rock the Beat
  7. Get Down
  8. We've Got the Juice
  9. Alright Now
  10. Good Groove
  11. Success
  12. Derek B's Got...!
  13. Def Beat Boy
I once saw a Japanese version for sale on eBay that had 14 tracks but didn't list them.  If you happen to have it can you please share the tracklisting.

Download:  Link Removed
Password:  derekbtribute
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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Founding Father or Sellout?

Second hand sources say Derek B was criticised for rapping with an American accent instead of his native British voice.  But second hand sources also say that, when Music of Life was compiling tracks for Def Beats 1, Derek stepped up and made his own song - Rock the Beat.  Look at the last comment on the cover below.  Did Derek rap with an American accent to give the impression he was from New York City?  Did he set the precedent for his style that he couldn't then turn his back on?  How convincing was his accent anyway?

One thing's for sure.  He put his homeland before America.  He rapped:
  • "America you're under attack!" - from "Bullet From a Gun"
  • "Step off New York cause London's here!" - from "We've Got the Juice"
Within a culture that takes it's history very seriously them's fightin words!  I guess KRS-ONE wasn't listening.  But it wasn't all one-way traffic:
  • "I give thanks to the brothers from across the ocean for giving me a sip of their magic potion." - from "Get Down"
It's clear though that Derek wasn't sure where he fit in:
  • "In the States, the brothers, they are proud.  In England they tried to pull me down." - from "All City"
And the recognition of his US counterparts was something he proudly promoted:
  • "Derek B has one of the hottest records in New York." - Chuck D from the "Power Move" intro.
But the accent was something consciously dealt with.  On "Success", Derek B the DJ & producer speaks with a British accent to EZQ, the MC with an American accent:

EZQ:        Yo D!
Derek B:  Yeah?
EZQ:        You know that def B line you was runnin on me?
Derek B:  Go on, yeah.
EZQ:        Give it to me please.
Derek B:  Alright, sweet.  Hold on.  What, like this?
EZQ:        Yeah, that's right.


This man's contribution to Hip Hop doesn't get the recognition it deserves.  Emcee, deejay AND producer - This cat did it all!  Sadly, he recently passed away.

Derek Boland.  Born: London, 15 January 1965; died: London, 15 November 2009.

Welcome to the Derek B Tribute.