Real Name: Daniel Burton
MC Shabba D has been one of the top Jungle/Drum n Bass MCs for the best part of 15 years and yet he is still on the sunny side of 30.
He grew up mostly in East London among a crowd of friends whose greatest musical influences were coming straight out of Jamaica and out of the UK-based Reggae Sound Systems, like Saxon. As kids they would copy the Jamaican deejays and freestyle their own lyrics and rhymes.
He was 13 in 1990 when the underground dance revolution started spawning clubs and labels and pirate radio stations like never before.
His mother knew the owner of the pirate radio station Weekend Rush (93.2 fm) and got her son his first break on the radio in the earlier part of 1991 with the legendary jungle DJ Remarc doing a 2 hour set together. This was followed by a regular marathon Saturday night set from 12 – 6am where he would MC and also DJ. He was 14, going on 15!
His first experience of MCing onstage was at a club called Busbys at a weekly Friday night event called “Outrage” where he also became a resident MC in 1991. Shabba was now rubbing shoulders with some of the major players within the scene at the time like Jumping Jack Frost, DJ Rap and Ray Keith.
In 1992, he started a weekly Friday night residency at Club Telepathy and spent 4 years working with DJs like Andy C, Funky Flirt, Devious D, Brockie, Kenny Ken, and Grooverider; and alongside other MCs like The Ragga Twins, Det, Navigator and fellow resident MC, the late Stevie Hyper D. He also played a residency at "The Morning After" in Covent Garden which ran every Sunday morning from 7am till midday.
During 93 and 94, he had moved back to Weekend Rush and in 94 he linked up with Jungle producer Paul Ibiza and released his first single with Junior Dangerous called "Dont Get Me Mad". The DTI finally closed Weekend Rush down in 94 and Shabba stayed on the same 92.3FM frequency but this time for Kick FM. In 96 he was approached by Kool FM (94.5), who were the number one Jungle and Drum n Bass station. Kool FM also ran their own DJ and MC agency “Jungle Fever Agency” which took over the MC Shabba D artiste representation.
By 97, the Drum n Bass scene was becoming quiet in the UK (with many producers switching to Uk Garage) but beginning to boom overseas and Shabba was travelling extensively and becoming an important MC name across the whole world. But by 2001 the scene had picked up again in London with regular events at the Stratford Rex, The Lighthouse and Bagleys. This year, Shabba promoted his own event in conjunction with Telepathy at Club EQ and over 2500 people rammed out the East London venue. He started up his own promotion company called Matrix and held another sell-out event at the Ministry Of Sound over Christmas 2001.
In 2002 Shabba D made his debut in Ayia Napa and began focusing his attention on the studio. He joined forces with his manager Paul Ibiza and together formed their own production company called “Highly Blessed”. In August 2002, he joined forces with MC Skibadee to form “SAS” (Shabba and Skibadee). They held their first joint event in September at the Lighthouse in Docklands where over 4,000 ravers attended. Their next “SAS” event was held on New Years Day 2003 at the Stratford Rex (MC Convention).
His father had been the road manager for the Sex Pistols and, in 1995, introduced Shabba to the producer of a Japanese punk band called 3-2-1 Zilch and recorded tracks for their album. In 1999 the bands manager flew him back over to LA to record 5 tracks that were to appear on their next album. This album also featured Sen Dogg from Cypress Hill, Lil Kim, O.D.B. and Keith from The Prodigy. In 2000 Shabba went on a promotional tour with the band throughout Japan. They later released the single from the album “Charlies Children” and it reached No 1 in the Japanese National Charts. This track, featuring Shabba, sold over 90,000 units, and the 3-2-1 Zilch album sold over 1.2 million units worldwide.
Discuss & sharing nostalgia relating from the pirate stations of the 60s up to modern day inactive stations.
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