MC Shaba

Bio

Shabba D was born on Tuesday 17th May 1977 (which makes him a Taurus) at Mothers Hospital in Clapton, London, E5. He spent much of his earlier years moving in areas like Stoke Newington, Tottenham, Homerton and Dalston where he went to school. Growing up in a multicultural inner London society, he had strong musical influences from other ethnic cultures especially from the West Indian culture. Many of his close friends were black and of Jamaican origin, but race or culture was never an issue amongst them.

Their love for reggae music, was their unifying ingredient that kept them away from the external influences of the ghetto such as drugs or crime. Many of his older friends were raving to reggae sound systems like, Sir Coxsone, Saxon and Unity in the late eighties. Even though he was too young to go to the raves himself, he still managed to get the vibes by listening to the Sound Tapes recorded at these dances. He has many a fond memory of chatting lyrics while making his way home from school with his friends. Shabba and his friends would quite often be seen hanging out in the local council estates after school.

They would each take it in turn to freestyle a verse of lyrics until one of them lost their rhyming flow, then they would start freestyling all over again. Along with his passion with Dancehall Reggae music, he also had, and still has a very strong passion for football. By the age of 11, he had managed to get himself signed up by West Ham playing for they're under 16's team. He took his sport very seriously, playing around 3 matches a week at a semi professional level. He was one of the top midfielders for his age at West Ham, and had the potential of making it as a professional footballer once he had come of age.

He was also top student at his secondary school, attaining some of the highest grades in the schools history. Shabba is clearly a highly intelligent, and multi talented individual who was destined to reach the top of whatever field that he desires. Even though he was moving up the ranks with West Ham down at Upton Park, he is a true Arsenal supporter and spent many of his Saturday afternoons down at Highbury. He was a keen regular in the Highbury stands during the mid to late 80's.

1990 was the year that saw the start of the UK dance revolution. Many independent Records labels like Shut Up and Dance, Tam Tam, Reinforced and Kickin Records were becoming highly established and Radio stations like Fantasy FM and Dance FM were ruling the airwaves. The days of everybody following the reggae sound systems were soon to be taken over by rave organisations like Biology, Fantastic Ibiza, and Fantasia. 1990 was also the turning point year for young Shabba's life were certain events would change the course of his destiny. His love of football and music was just as strong now aged 13 as it was in his pre-teenage years. He was still signed up to West Ham as a semi-pro and was seen as an up and coming lyricist in his community. He was odds on favourite of making it as a professional footballer but tragically got involved in a car accident badly damaging his right ankle.

This injury sadly put his football career on hold this induced him to channel more energy into his love for music. Shabba D's mother could see that he had a strong love for music and MCing and decided to contact her friend that owned the pirate radio station Weekend Rush (93.2 fm). He got his first break on the radio in the earlier part of 1991 and his first official radio set was with the legendary jungle DJ Remarc doing a 2 hour set together. The response that he got from the listeners was very good so they decided to take him on board doing a marathon Saturday night set from 12 - 6am where he would MC and also DJ. As time went on he was successfully building up reputation as a good MC within the scene and building up his contacts at the same time. He got to know the people that were running rival radio station Defection 89.4fm. At that point in time were seen as the number one station with DJ's like Mixmaster Max, and Khemistry (R.I.P) on the station.

This is how he also got to know Goldie very well who was going out with Khemistry at the time. Things were running neatly at Defection for him and the avenue of Mcing at raves was now next on the agenda. His first experience of MC'ing at a rave was at a club called Busby's (now known as LA 2 next to the Astoria) at a weekly Friday night event called Outrage where he also became a resident MC in 1991. He was now at the point in his early career where he wasn't just MCing for the love of it but now he was getting paid for it too. Shabba was also now rubbing shoulders with some of the major players within the scene at the time like Jumping Jack Frost, DJ Rap, Ray Keith and veteran MC's: MC Hardcore, MC and Stevie Hyper D (R.I.P). Things were definitely on the up for him in the music world but his pending ankle injury was now starting to put his football career into serious jeopardy. His ankle that got shattered in the car accident was still very weak even though the bone had repaired. Sadly for young Shabba, this injury consequently put an end to his hopes and dreams of becoming a pro footballer but his passion for the game still remained very strong.

He had managed to maintain his residency at Busby's for a few months now and it was only a matter of time that we would get offered more MC work from other rave promoters. One of the first of many promoters that saw his potential was Sting who ran Telepathy when he saw him performing at Busby's. Sting made the proposal to him that he was planning to launch a weekly Friday night event and wanted him as one of his resident MC's. In 1992 Club Telepathy was born and Shabba spent four successful years working with DJ's: Andy C, Funky Flirt, Devious D, Brockie, Kenny Ken, and Grooverider to name a few. Alongside MC's: The Ragga Twins, Det, Navigator, 5ive 0, Mosse not forgetting fellow resident MC Stevie Hyper D (R.I.P). Shabba also got a residency at The Morning after in Covent Garden. This event took place every Sunday morning from around 7am to 12pm.

The radio station Defection had a good 12-month run as one of the leading stations on the FM dial were starting to go through a bit of a difficult patch in the beginning of 93'. He could see that things could be coming to a bitter end for him at Defection so he decided to move back to his original station Weekend Rush. In hindsight this was a wise move as a Weekend Rush were growing in popularity and Defection were soon to become extinct from the airwaves. Shabba kept his momentum going as an MC on Weekend Rush during 93 - 94'. Weekend Rush joined forced with Kool FM to organise a rave called The Jungle Book at the Rocket Complex, Holloway Road, which was an absolute roadblock event. This event was the battle of the pirates as Weekend Rush and Kool FM were the 2 leading stations at that time. 94' was also the year when he linked up with the Jungle veteran Paul Ibiza. Paul Ibiza the owner of the record label Ibiza Records and the London based record shop of the same name booked Shabba to perform at his first Jungle Splash event held at the Rocket Complex, Holloway Rd.

This is where he first teamed up with MC Junior Dangerous. This partnership then lead onto him releasing his first single with Junior Dangerous called Don't Get Me Mad. This hit single also featured on Jungle Hits Volume 2 that sold over 100,000 units natonwide.During the peak of Weekend Rush's popularity in 94', the DTI were ever more determined to remove them from the airwaves. The constant studio raids and the removal of transmitters soon took it's toll and Weekend Rush were soon to be taken off the airwaves for good. His appearances on the FM dial lay dormant for a few months until a new radio station was to hit the airwaves Kick FM. They used the same frequency as Weekend Rush 92.3 FM. Some of the veteran Rush DJ's and MC's like Remarc, Dollars, and Papa G also moved onto the new station Kick FM. Shabba had been MC'ing on Kick FM for just over 12 months when he got approached by the managers of Kool FM, 94.5. At this point in history Kool FM were the number one Jungle and Drum n Bass on the airwaves, winning awards for their achievements in the scene.

He agreed to join the station made his debut appearance on Kool FM in the early part of 96' with DJ Probe. This was an important move in his career and joining the station improved his status within the scene. Kool FM also ran their own DJ and MC agency Jungle Fever Agency which now meant that for the first time, he now had someone to represent his regarding his bookings. In 96' his work load was on the increase and was getting more national bookings for places like, Cardiff, Bristol, Manchester and Luton to name a few. He made his first appearance outside England in 97' when he flew over to Ireland with Funky Flirt, Mampi Swift and Eastman. He also flew out to Germany 4 times and made a couple of appearances in Switzerland in the same year. He was now being recognised though out the whole of the UK and Europe as a talented Drum n' Bass MC.

Towards the end of 97' and during 98' the Drum n' Bass scene started to die down in London and the UK. This was a period when a lot of DJ's, producers, MC's and ravers moved into other styles of music, i.e. UKG. Even though the scene had become more barren, he was still getting regular bookings through out the UK and Europe. Drum n Bass had lost it's appeal to a lot of people but he relentlessly stuck to his guns and stayed loyal to the Drum n' Bass scene and still had strong faith in the music. In 99' the scene in the UK had not made much progress but was rapidly expanding in the US and Canada. This was the year when he made his debut appearance in Canada through one of MC Foxy's connections. His performance was so successful that he was flown back over to Canada another 4 times during that year. He was now recognised as an international artist in his own right.

Between the years of 1999 2002, he was flown over and made appearances in Canada over 25 times. 99' also proved to be an important year for Shabba as this was the year that he became a father. With parenthood comes extra responsibility and this also gave him more determination to succeed in the Drum n' Bass scene. Back in 95' Shabba's dad arranged a meeting with a record producer who had been involved with the legendary punk band The Sex Pistols. (Shabba's dad was also the road manager for The Sex Pistols). The producer liked Shabba's rawness on the Mic and later flew him over to LA to feature on the album of the punk band 3-2-1- Zilch. Unfortunately the lead singer of the band committed suicide half way through the recording of their forthcoming album. 4 years later he got a call from the bands manager who flew him back over to LA to record 5 tracks that were to appear on their next album.

This album featured other artist like, Senn Dogg from Cypress Hill, Lil Kim, O.D.B. and Keith from The Prodigy to name a few. In 2000 he then went on a promotional tour with the band through out Japan and took the nation by storm. They later released the single from the album Charlie's Children that reached the number one position in Japanese National Charts. This track that featured Shabba D sold over 90,000 units, and the 3-2-1 Zilch album sold over 1.2 million units worldwide. The success of this record took up a lot of his time as he was touring with the band around the world for over a year. He had to dedicate time for the making music video for Chalrie's Children that cost over 50,000 sterling. This whole experience had open his eyes to the whole music industry and give him an added boost of professionalism to perform in the Drum n' Bass scene. In 2001 the Drum n' Bass scene was starting to become more popular again in London with regular events at the Stratford Rex, The Lighthouse and Bagleys.

This was the year when he held his own event in conjunction with Telepathy celebrating 10 years in the scene at Club EQ's. This event was an absolute roadblock with over 2500 people ramming out this East London venue. This was the first rave of its kind where an MC had held an event in their own name and he started up his own promotion company called Matrix. The success of the event showed the scene how popular Shabba D as a performer and the popularity and importance of MC's within the scene. He also held another event at the Ministry Of Sound over the Christmas period of 2001 which was also a roadblock event. He has now performed in many places around the world, Toronto, Arizona, Tokyo, China, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Poland to name a few and in every major town in the UK. In 2002 Shabba D has gone from strength to strength, being inundated with bookings worldwide.

He held his 25th Birthday Bash at the Stratford Rex in May that was another roadblock event. He also made his debut out in Ayia Napa and once again took the Island by storm. The island has been notorious for UK Garage for the past few years is now getting a large following for Drum n' Bass music. Bring Drum n' Bass to the island has opened a lot of people's eyes to the music again that may have been lost during the late 90's. The majority of the holiday goers on the island are from the UK and this has helped to make him even popular over here in England after the summer season. There are now a lot of UK Garage promoters that book Shabba on a regular basis for their events in the UK, on the strength of his success out in Ayia Napa last season.

The Drum n Bass scene has gone through a lot of changes through out 2002. More vocals are being used in tracks and with the commercial success of vocal tracks like Shake Your Body Shabba is now focusing his attention to the studio. He has now join forces with Jungle Veteran Paul Ibiza (who is also his manager) and formed their own production company Highly Blessed. The production company has launched it's own Record Label, Merchandise, DJ Agency, Website (www.mcshabba.com) as well as organising their own events. He is currently working on a solo Drum n Bass project in the studio soon to be released on Highly Blessed Records. In August of 2002 he joined forces with MC Skibadee to form SAS (Shabba and Skibadee).

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