Thursday, April 20, 2006

Little Derek

Hip-hop gets a bad rap at the best of times, and gets absolutely pummelled at the worst of times. Last year, French politicians apparently called for rappers to be prosecuted over the riots which set Parisian suburbs ablaze for weeks. I haven't followed the developments, but if they succeed it'll set an interesting precedent over the responsibility of artists for their music. Legally, it'll be in the same vein as journalists who were jailed for inciting genocide in Rwanda.

UK hip-hop doesn't get enough airplay or exposure, which is why selling a mere 20,000 copies of an album is considered successful. Shame that, because there are some very good artists out there, and Derek "
Sway" Safo is one of the very best. He won a MOBO last year, and was one of several Africans (he's Ghanaian) who did well in an awards show traditionally dominated by winners of Caribbean origin. Taken from the album This is my Demo, "Little Derek" is a song I listen to whenever I need to keep my head up. Just look at the way things are around you and think, actually, "Little 'insert name' is doign okay..." Lyrics courtesy of top-lyrics and video from solly4life. "Little Rachael" doesn't make it onto the video, but she's on the single, and I've included her lyrics if you're interested.

Lyrics
Little Derek's doing okay(yeah)
Little Derek's doing fine (fine)
Little Derek's doing cool (cool)
You know how we do

Stepped out my house I'm feelin fresh and brand new
Olu did the trimmery and I done the hairdo
And everything I wear's new
Maharishi Jacket, Puma top,
Box-fresh jeans and nike cam boots
Sprayed a little versace dream around me too
So every girl I pass is like oo-oooh
Police don't pull us over like woo-woo
Cuz their kids watch MTV and channel U

But life ain't always been fine like baby blue
Cuz when u do UK rap you're number two
Cuz the USA ain't giving us space to break through
So I'm on the grind trying to pioneer a breakthrough
Gotta keep the punters happy, to tango it takes two
And it seems like I'm the rapper the people take to
I've never had alot, with what I've got I've made do
And now I'm blowin up in this bitch like move-move-move

[Chorus x2]
Little Derek's okay(yeah)
Little Derek's doing fine (fine)
Little Derek's doing cool (cool)
You know how we do

Step out the ride I'm feeling nice and quite fly
I'm trying to reach the top I see the top is quite high
Steady on my grind, tryin to get my face up in the source
So I keep by faith up in the boss
Up in the bright white sky

Getting calls from these record label bosses like hi
Head up in inside their offices
And listen to their promises
But no-one's made me offers yet that I could not deny

And I been making profits of this my mix tapes raw
Life ain't always been pretty like nah
On the north side of the city where its gritty like pie
We did what we had to done to get by
Hoping not get caught up in no silly drive-by
Little derek wrote lyrics while the others got high
And he ended up in HMV instead of HMP
Cuz street life could only end one way
Your friend crying on the scene like why, why, why?

[Chorus x2]
Little Derek's okay(yeah)
Little Derek's doing fine (fine)
Little Derek's doing cool (cool)
You know how we do

(Baby Blue)
Knowin real fame
That's what I used to dream about
That everyone would know my name
And they would scream it out
Knowing my song words and sing along too
And I would walk down the street and hear blue, blue, blue

My video's rotating
So I got these execs debating
About whether I'm taking
And these RnB guys is asking the same thing
Calling up my phone, wondering whether I'm dating

I turn my passion to career how could I lose out?
Quit my nine to five so I don't have to sell shoes now
My CDs are moving
That's the route that I'm choosing
So I got to make it through, through, through
Little Rachael used to look up to the sky too
Analyse the planets and wonder if I could shine too
So now they ask how I'm doing I say
Little Rachael's doing okay

(Sway)
(Okay)

[Chorus x2]
(Yeah)
Little Derek's okay(yeah)
Little Derek's doing fine (fine)
Little Derek's doing cool (cool)
You know how we do


Not-so-little African Shirts is doing okay...

2 comments:

obifromsouthlondon said...

Man hiphop always gets a bad rap. earned or unearned.

You've taken this one out of my hands. bought Sway's album last month and been meaning to blog about it. "Little Derek" is turning into my best tune. shame the video doesn't contain the verse from baby blue. Have you listened to the skits on the album? Hilarious stuff

Bent out of shape said...

You know, this is really weird. Hip Hop in the UK was just the topic of a discussion held in my kitchen earlier this morning.I was watching MTV about an hour or two ago, and it appears that the new rave here in the states is British Hip Hop... particularly 'grime'. Apparently, it's about to be the next new thing. This one girl 'Lady Sovereign' just got signed by Jigga, and just last week, there was this other dude that got featured. (I can't for the life of me remember his name)... Anyway, thanks for this video, 'cause I think it's really great... Nice stuff.