Monday, November 16, 2009

RIP Derek B

One of the leading lights of the UK hip hop scene, Derek B was a absolute pioneer when it comes to UK rap.

Sadly, Derek died yesterday of a heart attack, aged just 44.

Given how well the UK underground is doing right now, I think it's really important to spare a thought for those, like Derek, who helped open the door for the Dynamite's, Estelle's, Chipmunk's and Roots Manuva's to come through. Mr. B was the first rapper to achieve chart success, and he ended up producing and remixing for the Cookie Crew and Eric B & Rakim, and signed to Russell Simmons, back in the '80s. I didn't know this, but according to my good friend Jacqueline Springer, he aso made a drum beat that inspired the whole New Orlean's Bounce movement.

Sincere condolences to Derek's family and friends and also a very big thank you to Derek for all the work and creativity put in, and for helping to put the UK on the map. In a small twist of fate, his death closely follows that of Mr. Magic, who introduced Derek to Profile Records, helping him US exposure.

Derek also co-wrote the infamous Anfield rap. Hold tight John Barnes!

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