Already a few dope releases into his career, the Newcastle born artist talks about his forthcoming projects, getting into hiphop, internet downloads, his NGU label and performing live.
First up, who's Dap C and where are you from?
Real name Craig Dalziel, I'm 25, originally from Newcastle but now i stay in Leicester, which has become the home of N.G.U.
Have you ever been tempted to move to London because of hiphop?
Yes, I have given it a lot of thought and to be honest London may well be my next stop after Leicester, but I'm happy here for another year or so. I would even say the move from Newcastle to Leicester has already made a differance. Leicester is in a good position as it's really close to Nottingham, Birmingham & Shefield, so you have 4 cities learning about you at the same time. It's a good base.
What have you released so far and what of these are you most proud of?
I've released quite a bit so far. My full discography can be found at www.dap-c.com/discography/ I would say I'm very proud of my forthcoming album, 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf'. It's alot more powerful than the last album. I mean, it's 2 years on now. I've gone from being a brand new artist coming into the game blind, to having signed a record deal, released an album, signed a big management deal, and worked with the multi-platinum Mark Morrison, who's in the middle of making a come back. I just been shown his new video featuring DMX. Mark's cool. He schools me to the game and has helped me plan out every move I will make over the next twelve months. There's also little mention of cocaine and jail in this album. I've now given up drugs. Now it's a happier, more focused Dap-C. Expect it to drop late 2005 or early 2006 on N.G.U. Records.
When did you first get into hiphop and what motivated you to get serious about wanting to be an artist yourself?
I first got into Hip Hop back in 1991 and started to rhyme about 1996. Didn't start recording until 1998, but didnt really get my shit together until I moved to Leicester in 2002.
Could you try describing yourself as a rapper and what listeners can expect from your material in general?
Dap-C is the same as a rapper, as he is in real life. I got a big personallity and I feel that comes through in my music. Listeners can expect to hear nice beats, nice rhymes & hooks, with a little evil thrown in!
Are you working on any projects at the moment and what gossip can you tell us about them?
N.G.U. Radio Mixtape Part One is out. This is the first in a series of free monthly mixtapes you can download from my site www.dap-c.com My new single 'Walking In The Rain' is about to drop, hopefully before the end of August. There's a hot video coming for that! Right now I'm putting the finishing touches to the album. There's some hot collabo's on there. Right now, I'm in the middle of tracks with Rodney P & Blade, so that's gonna be hot! We also working on the N.G.U. Crew album, but that's a long way from release yet.
What artists and producers would you most like to collaborate with at some point?
To be honest I've always wanted to work with Rodney & Blade, but I'm doing that now, so why not aim higher, errr… Eminem, Nas, Jay-Z.
Who do you think is holding it down in the UK hip-hop scene right now?
Blak Twang, Rodney P, Blade, errrr… Skinnyman's album was amazing, hopefully some people will put N.G.U. in that category this time next year!
Tell us what the last great UK hip-hop record you purchased was?
Blak Twang – The Rotton Club.
Is it disheartening to know you're making dope hip-hop which only a small amount of music lovers in the UK will hear?
My mixtapes are for the underground, but I do have a number of tracks for the charts. I'm not gonna settle for being just another UK act that's known locally then thinks that's as far as they can get. I think that question is really negative.
Do you reckon there'll ever be an era of UK hip-hop doing significant damange to the mainstream music industry of England?
Yes, of course I do. I think that time isn't too far away now. Channel U & 1xtra has helped by giving artists like myself an outlet to let the masses hear the music. That's all the UK was missing, a platform. Now we have one and the public are starting to want the music. The major labels must start. I mean, look at The Streets, Taz, Fallacy & Skinnyman. They all did a lot better than they would of if they had of dropped the same albums a few years ago. That in itself shows how the UK industry is growing everyday and as far as I'm concerned, it can only get bigger.
How do you feel about the tons of people who never buy UK rap, and sit at home downloading it all day?
The same as I feel about anyone who doesn't go out and buy the music they feel. They ripping off artists! But on the other hand it's a way to ensure most UK artists are never gonna be able to move out of a council estate, so their music is always gonna stay street, cause their life aint gonna change that much!
I saw that you've got free downloads going on.
Yeah we doing a free mixtape you can download every month between now and the end of the year. Everyone go pick it up now from Dap-c.com
Tell us about NGU Records?
I started N.G.U. Records back in 2004. The first release was Eyezofman & A-Bomb – The Lost Kingdom Ep, which features Cappo & myself – That's still available from all the normal net outlets. I dropped the Character Building album on Sin Nombre Records, which was recorded in April 2003 when I was released from prison. I left the label when my contract expired in November 2004. It was a natural move for me to go to my own label. We got a really good crew working for us and we plan to have lots of material coming out!
What other artists are down?
MC Beads (Broken Boy album coming soon), Big Cakes (Next Saga 12" coming soon), N.G.U. Crew, Sim & a few more!
Do you get out to perform live much and what can fans expect from your show?
We did a lot of shows last year to promote the first album. I love performing. Our shows can get really wild. We haven't done too many this year, to concentrate on recording and shooting videos, but we supported Scratch Perverts in March and Dj First Rate at the end of May. We probably wont be doing many more shows this year, so if you get the chance to see Dap-C live make sure you get off your arse and go. I'll be back on the road in 2006 with the full N.G.U. roster backing me. All gig listings will be available from www.dap-c.com
You any good at the freestyling?
I have my moments, but it's not what I'm about as an artist. If you look hard enough there is some raw footage of me battling on the net somewhere.
Are you, or have you been involved in any other aspect of hip-hop culture over the years?
I went through a stage of trying to convince myself I could breakdance in about 1989, after watching the movie Breakdance (a.k.a. Breakin') but that was short lived. I've been Dj'ing since 1997. You can catch me spinning R&B/Hip Hop at www.aviaryclub.com in Leicester. I never been much of a graph artist but I'm getting more involved in graph now as we have N.G.U. Clothing coming soon and I've been going through stuff with our artist Oilz. Expect to see the crew rocking it soon and it'll be in stores next year! I've also been producing a little bit. I did 5 tracks on Mc Beads album and also did the next single from Big Cakes. Track's called Next Saga. Watch out for that. It's a banger!
Would you like to make some shout out's or drop some plugs before we end?
Go get the free N.G.U. Radio mixtape from www.dap-c.com right now and keep checking back for updates. Mc Beads – The Broken Boy (limited edtion vinyl) coming soon, Big Cakes – Next Saga (feat Dap-C & The Bc) vinyl coming soon. Big up to my man Universon who won the mc battle at UK Takeover in Notts last month, The Bc has solo stuff on the way, Sim (who's probably back in jail) and last but not least Mark Morrison – The Mack Is Coming Back!