Rapper and DJ, Derek Boland, died last week (Nov 15th) of a heart attack at the age of 44. Under the name of Derek B he had two Top 20 hits in 1988. Boland became one of the first UK rappers to appear on BBC TV’s Top Of The Pops. Derek was born in London, and began his DJ career at the age of 15. He DJ’ed around London, before going on to play for pirate radio. After that he set up his own station WBLS before he joined Simon Harris’s Music Of Life label in an A&R role. In addition he contributed the track Rock The Beat to the Def Beats 1 compilation. Unusually this collection was meant to be gathering US Hip Hop. He appeared rapping under the pseudonym EZQ.
Goodgroove (released on Music Of Life) and Bad Young Brother (on the new Tuff Audio imprint via Phonogram) both reached the Top 20 in the first half of 1988. A debut album followed containing both hits called Bullet From A Gun. This charted at No.11 in the albums chart. His only other major chart success was in quite a different vein, as co-writer of the Anfield Rap. That release reached No.3 in the singles chart for the Liverpool FC football team. He also worked with Eric B. & Rakim and the Cookie Crew.
In conclusion…Derek B, you’ll be missed.
Sadly, little of his recorded output is available at present. However I did manage to find one track currently available. That being Derek B’s Urban Respray remix of Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid In Full. This is included on the classic Eric B. & Rakim album Paid In Full – Deluxe Edition. However you can watch/listen to it via YouTube below.