In Talks With South East London’s Emcee DC – A Voice Of Empowerment
26 Mar 2021
South East London’s DC has been making noise since his ‘Gleamin’ Freestyle’ series back in 2015. Weaving in between both Rap and Grime music, his voice has become one of empowerment and inspiration for many of the younger generation. Having already been referred to as en emcee that educates through his refined pen game, DC has become a staple name within British Rap – and rightfully so!
Today, DC has graced supporters with a brand new project titled ‘In The Loop’ which is an honest, raw and unapologetic take on his life and experiences thus far. Spread across 10 quality tracks with pre-released appearances from “Blood, Sweat, Tears” and “Neighbourhood” which has racked up over 2.2 million views on YouTube alone since it’s release; this long player project is a must-listen, and a body of art that I’m sure will put DC on more people’s radar!
We caught up with DC to talk all things ‘In The Loop’, his influence, his journey as an emcee so far and more. Tap in below to see what he had to say!
How have you been keeping through these uncertain times? How has it been from an artist’s point of view creatively?
Just keeping busy to be honest, keeping the mind active you know. Simple things like even reading a book, I’ve also been learning how to produce as well. Just keeping the brain working, trying to avoid being stagnant. Even from a creative standpoint it’s difficult init, we haven’t been able to go outside and gain new experiences that inspires the art you get me, but on the other hands there’s the cons like giving you more time to think of ideas you know. But yeah it hasn’t been the easiest of journeys creatively.
For those who aren’t aware of who you are, please could you tell us a bit more about your introduction to music and how your journey began?
My introduction to music, you know what I’m not one of those people that have been making music from the age of 2 *laughs* like nah. My introduction to rap, or I’d say fell in love with rap was probably around 13/14. I used to watch MTV Base all day long and I would just listen to the music, not attempting to write at that point. What I would do is: record the tracks on a cassette player and make a playlist out of the songs…
Probably around 15 I started memorising lyrics of my favourite songs so I could rap it back to myself and then yeah, that progressed into writing my own bars around 16/17 and sending it to friends. I’d say it wasn’t until I got to uni that I released the ‘Gleamin’ Freestyle’, which was my first proper intro into the music thing, then yeah since then working on the craft and here we are…
What artists did you grow up listening to that may have helped shape your artistry today?
I’d say there’s a long list of artists I listened to that definitely influenced me coming up. I’d say Giggs, J Cole – that’s my favourite rapper so I’d say he’s the biggest influence…you have Kano, Skepta, K Koke, Squeeks, Joe Black, Fabolous there’s a mad long varying list still. Those are some influences off the top of my head.
Let’s talk about your EP ‘In The Loop’. Could you start off by breaking down the meaning behind the title?
In the Loop translates to “information known to a privileged few” you get me, so basically – if you know, you know. The reason I decided to go with that title was because there are so many things on the tape, whether it be a topic, a place, or a way of thought, things that are relatable to us on day to day life and the feelings we go through – if you know, you know! Even down to the little things like on the intro you can hear I tap my oyster and there’s no money on it. If you know, you know what I did next *laughs*. If you’re from around here, you know exactly what happens next – I still got on that train, I still managed to continue my story init. So that’s ultimately why I went with that title.
What was your approach with this project? Was there a certain concept or message you wanted to push?
You know what…there’s not one specific message I wanted to get across with this project. I definitely did approach it in a way that enabled me to be as open and honest as possible. So yeah, I’d say if there is a message I’d want anyone to take is – live your truth, be as authentic as possible. There’s real power in that.
Is there a track in particular from the project that you would consider to be a favourite?
Its a difficult one, I love all the songs! Obviously “Neighbourhood” is up there, but you know I’d say “Paranoia”, simply because I think its the foundation on which I built the tape on. The concept of paranoia – how it impacts our daily lives and how its seen in a negative light. I try to flip the perspective and show the positives and benefits it can bring. This tape with this story details the paranoia I’ve faced or have to face and the people in similar environments have to face on a daily basis. Sometimes being that paranoid person can be your saving grace. So yeah, I’d say paranoia is definitely the most important and my favourite song, it ties everything together.
Did any of them challenge you in anyway?
Again, yeah I’d say “Paranoia” challenged me the most out of all the songs to be honest. Just because I had the idea to do a track like this before I wrote it so I had to really think about the concept, storyline and what kinda tempo and flows I wanted to go with and even how I wanted the listeners to engage with it. Is it something I wanted people to bop along to or something I wanted you to sit and proper deep. I feel like I managed to find a perfect balance, but yeah it definitely challenged me because I knew that I needed to make this song.
In comparison to a project like ‘Under The Influence’ – How does this body of work differ?
I guess in comparison, I’d definitely say ‘In The Loop’ has more of a concept, a theme. I feel as though ‘Under the Influence’ was more of a collection of songs. I feel like with ‘In The Loop’ I got real honest and open with some stuff you know. ‘Under the Influence’ I was still doing some of those things I mentioned earlier, trying to be the man too much maybe. I was young! Talking about girls etc. On this project I don’t think I even touched on those topics once you know, it’s just you know, kinda shows the growth.
You’ve previously been referred to as an emcee who educates people through his bars. In comparison to others in the scene that would be considered more “mainstream” – What is your take on this?
Umm, yeah *laughs* I guess its a compliment? I mean its definitely not intentional, I don’t intentionally try and teach people – I don’t know everything man, I just try to be honest about my experiences and if you learn something – great. If you don’t – that’s bless man, you’ve just gained insight into someones life which is also cool you know. But yeah, I’m not trying to educate anyone, I don’t know the answers much like everyone else you know.
You definitely come across as an artist who puts quality over quantity. Lyrically, you touch on a variety of topics with deeper meanings or substance – How important is it for you to grasp this element of music within your artistry?
Yeah it’s vital for me man. I mean the artists I grew up listening to (I’ll always reference J Cole), the biggest example. His music is filled with meaningful subjects and content and I know how much those concepts and songs helped me through life. So I’ve always subconsciously tried to make sure its quality over quantity you get me. Because I know what good music can do for people. It’s essential for me to do that.
What else can we expect to hear from you this coming year?
But yeah man more great music, definitely newer sounds, more visuals. Expect the full package man were coming in strong you get me.