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D Double E | Interview | March 2014

We met up with Grime legend himself, D Double E, one half of the ‘Newham Generals’. Here’s what he had to say…

Source: Shyam Rajdev | HTF

We met up with Grime legend himself, D Double E, one half of the Newham Generals. From tracks such as ‘Streetfighter Riddim‘ and ‘Bluku Bluku‘, D DoubleE has remained an influential figure in the Grime scene since the start of his career. Here’s what he had to say…

Thanks for spending some time with us D Double E, firstly what is Grime?
Grime is an attitude man… I think people are grime… that style of how you ride the mic. It doesn’t matter what beat you’re on, as long as you’re spitting in that form, it’s grime. So grime is me. I’m grime. It’s a style basically that people adapted in the earlier days. And now people copy that style.

Do you think Grime is a stepping stone onto bigger things?
It’s definitely a stepping stone… but it’s not a stepping stone for you to try and step on this stone, you need to actually be in Grime and love it. Not just use it to get to bigger things.
Dizzee (Rascal) has lived grime, he still has that touch to him. Even if he is on a hip hop beat he still gives you that ‘Dizzee’ voice. It’s the same with me…”

You started out in Jungle, why did you make the change to Grime?
See that jungle side of me is still in me but… it’s more… what I use from jungle is the skills, the technique. I was laid back, back then. Techniques came from drum and bass. It’s all too quick to slow it down now, you have to concentrate, and it’s harder. Anything you say just sounds live on a fast one. I feel like the days of drum and bass has helped me today, it’s kept me sharp. And now when I spit on grime tempos I can spit more and put more work in. I feel like I changed over, because my love for drum and bass started to go down.”

What made you want to get into music in general?
I think… just loving music in general, listening to old Ragga, Reggae, and my mum playing music at parties. Just listening to music and learning what people were saying and singing it back, that’s what kind of got me into enjoying the music. If I liked it, I liked it. Then I got my own stereo and got Snoop Dog’s first album. But when I was listening to that, I got to a stage where I wanted to know what he was saying. It wasn’t just about enjoying the song, I wanted to learn the tune word for word. I used to listen to one line. Pause the song. Write it down. Press play… and so on… I had the whole song written down. I felt like as soon as I got a hold of my own music, I took it like a university lesson, analysing everything, I started stripping it down and learning everything.”

What was it like touring with Dizzee Rascal?
Touring with Dizzee was live! That was my first experience of touring, living on a coach and that… we had bare fun, seen a lot of places and met a lot of different people… Dizzee likes to have fun.”

How has your music evolved since the start of your career?
My music has evolved now because it’s turned into music. That’s the thing… it’s only now when I look back at my songs like if you listen to ‘Birds In The Sky’ it’s all nice, that’s music, ‘D Double Signal’ that’s all nice… when you listen to those songs, they’re polished, I need to be that times 10. Call me grime, that’s cool, but if you call my music grime, it’s not really grime, you can take me off the song and put a singer on there and they’re gonna say they love this… they’re not gonna tell you what it is. I just wanna go back and make that type of music but polished, it’s all gonna be called grime still. I’m just gonna do me.”

Tell us about Newham Generals? How did it start?
Just before Newham Generals started, we was in a group called ‘Nasty Crew’, I was rolling with Footsie and Monkstar quite a lot, like away from the music because they used to live near me and stuff and they used to DJ and stuff. On a different radio station I was DJing, so I brought Monkstar as my MC when I’m on radio. Footsie done the same, and when I left Nasty Crew they just thought well… man if you’re leaving I’m leaving. They’d probably only been spitting for like three months. I left because like… business wasn’t right man. So we started Newham Generals. Monkey’s more into the church thing, he’s left grime to follow that church thing.

“Bluku Bluku” What does it mean and where did the phrase come from?
It’s like a “Hello” sign. It’s also a “Blap Blap” sign, if you go back in time and you see that “Booyaka Booyaka” basically it’s shots, like saying “Blap Blap” in a rave or something. You can’t call your friend saying Blap Blap but you can say “Bluku Bluku”!

You’re now considered a Grime legend, what has been the highlight of your career?
There’s just too many! Been through so many stages. But… probably Texas man, going to the SXSW festival, it happens every year but yeah… we went there with Dizzee, it was heavy. That’s definitely one of my highlights. Being on the Europe tour as well, there’s many others but those two definitely stand out.

Many UK artists have changed to suit the mainstream, do you think you’ll ever change?
The change that we’re gonna make, the music is always going to be top notch, top quality. When you hear our music you’ll hear the step up in production and levels. Grime as a whole is stepping up these levels, people are not cutting corners anymore. They aren’t nicking peoples songs and cutting it up. Just gotta keep living init… wherever my foot is, I know that grime is being pushed up it’s a slow battle and you’re losing people on the way, but only the strong ones will be the ones that’s pulling.

‘Piff’ the single is coming out on the 17th of March, tell us about it?
The song is about smoking init

What’s in the works for 2014?
Oh man… Well the Newham Generals album. I got a solo EP and a solo album, dropping at the end of the year hopefully. Got a movie that I’m gonna be in, called ‘Brash Young Turks’ and I’ll be on the soundtrack for that aswell. Just stay tuned to the singles, there are gonna be some mad collabs! This year is gonna be a busy year… if you can’t feel the temperature yet then… boy! In a minute you’ll feel that!… Bluku!

Appreciate the time you’ve given us, thanks again and good luck this year. BLUKU!

Purchase the single Here.

You can watch the Newham Generals new track ‘Piff‘ below-

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