D Double E (DEE) is the emcee’s MC. Among his peers and grime fans he comfortably sits as one of the top 3 selected mic controllers of all time.
An English language scholar from the grime school of hard knocks, DEE’s spent the last fifteen years reviving the art of skillful word play. And behind the irreverence and jokes is a detailed and prevalent strain of street philosophy, one where illusion-ridden lifestyles are played out and vocabularies and mic styles are put to the test.
Hailing from Forest Gate, east London, DEE’s no newcomer to the stage, magazines or road. Accompany him on a walk down his local high street and you’ll hear calls of his signature “Oooh-er ooher-er, it’s me, me,” being relayed from his wide-spanning supporter base. A long time favourite with bloggers, you’ll be pushed to find a style magazine that’s not backed him either, his trusty Moschino get up garnering pages in i-D long before most had MySpace.
Having begun cutting his teeth on jungle sets before moving onto UK garage and grime (before it had a name), his time in NASTY Crew alongside Kano, Jammer and co solidified DEE’s musical direction. Teaming up with long-time friend Footsie (and former member Monkstar) the Newham Generals were born and DEE’s authority and writing skills became uncontestable. Tracks like ‘Frontline’, ‘Prang Man’ and ‘War Wid’ now promise to up the ante in any space with a sound system.
It was in 2005 that D Double signed to Dizzee Rascal’s Dirtee Stank label, bringing his Newham Generals along for the ride. A mixtape, ‘The Best Of Newham Generals’ followed along with the 2009 album ‘Generally Speaking’, the David Rodigan favourite, ‘Hard’, and EP’s ‘Bag Of Grease’ and ‘Bluku’ among others.
As a solo artist D Double E dominates with seminal cuts including ‘Street Fighter Riddim’, ‘Bluku, Bluku’, ‘Bad 2 Tha Bone’, ‘Lovely Jubbly’ and ‘Wolly’. A quick check of his collaborative discography and it’s where much of the magic happens. Recent features on Wiley’s The Godfather album (‘Joe Bloggs’), Skepta’s Mercury Prize winning Konnichiwa (‘Ladies Hit Squad’), JME’s Integrity (‘Again’) and Chip’s comeback track ‘School Of Grime’, are just scratching the surface of his discography. The Streets, Katy B, Swindle, The Bug, Rustie, Lethal B and Starkey have also called on D Double’s services alongside the grime scene many. DEE also appeared on a remix of Gyptian’s classic ‘Hold Yuh’ while back in 2010, Snoop Dogg jumped on a remix of DEE’s ‘Be Like Me’ with Pro Green & P Money solely because he loved it.
DEE has left his mark on the festival circuit too; he’s made the bill at Glastonbury (twice) and represented on stages at SXSW, Wireless, Reading & Leeds, Creamfields, Bestival, Lovebox, Born & Bred, Splash, Nass, Boombap, Origin, Field Day, Outlook and more.
He’s no stranger to foreign shores either – as well as a recent tour of Australia and New Zealand, DEE’s got reloads in Japan, Romania, LA, Toronto, Bulgaria, Vancouver and beyond. When it comes to downtime, it’s spending time in his cultural home of Jamaica that stirs his lyrical callings (he plans to record a collaboration next time he’s there too).
With his first headline solo show in London this March – a show he’s been waiting to deliver but wanted to ensure came at the right time, for the right reason – the next level is about to be taken. On the cusp of sending his new studio album to master, new singles ‘How I Like It’ (the remix of which features JME, Wiley, Chip, Lethal & Bassman), “SHANANIGANS and ”BETTER THAN THE REST featuring “WILEY” sets the tone for his Bluku Music label adventures to follow.
And quite the adventure it promises to be.