Roy 'The Dark Disciple' aka Darkjoint is another of one of those underground
producers who is only just now putting his head above ground. He has just completed
his debut single entitled 'Maximum Pressure'. It features MCD (Silent Eclipse) and
Malarchi. Darkjoint is at the present time working on his debut album which
should be out early next year, but he is possibly better known for
his work with Malarchi whose album 'Forgotten World' is out now on Gemtoy
Roy - The Dark Disciple
The label has a nation wide distribution deal with
Pinnacle so the records will be available in all good record shops. Malarchi is
like Darkjoint's protégé, and Darkjoint has produced the entire 16 track album. It is not surprising that they work so closely together
because Darkjoint and Malarchi live next door to each other in Canning Town, East London.
Darkjoint has been really busy recently having completed six tracks for
the forthcoming D-Lyte-1 album entitled '1 AD' and has also done five tracks for the new
Femi X album 'In The Biginning The Was' which is out now on Hard 2 Kill records. Femi X was the leader of the Hard II
Kill Group with their debut 'Massacare' Ep which was well received in 1996. But sadly the members have now parted ways.
Darkjoint is also the name of the studio (basically Darkjoint's yard) where
his crew Malarchi, D-Lyte-1, Femi X and 2 Sticky hang out along with other MCs
in East London.
Can you tell us a bit about where you are from, who your crew are and who they are associated with?
Am from Canning Town in East London and my crew is Darkjoint Entertainment. We are just a bunch of lads who pretends to be producers and it comprise of Roy "The Dark Disciple" and Leo "LMG" Gilbert from Oval South London.
Are there any other producers or MCs in your crew to look out for?
Well the thing is that we are a group of friends who happens to share the same passion for Hip-Hop, so it is not like a crew or clique. Darkjoint is LMG and myself on production and T-1 taking care of business. It is just a coincidence, that all the stuff out now with the darkjoint tag are all produced by me, (since LMG has been a lazy git over the past two years, talking about retiring and shit (laugh)) he will kill me for this but he taught me everything I know about making beats. When we started he was my DJ while I was the rapper, but frustration from other producers not passing the right beat forced us to harness the skill of music production. The rest as you can say is history. There is this kid from New Castle called Dominic who is heavy. He is young but his beats sounds like they were made by a veteran. He is one of the new producers and I will be doing some stuff with him for my album. He has just remixed U4Days for Malarchi. Keep your ears tuned for him.
You have said that you have been in this game for ten years, which is a long time. What were you doing back then, and who were you mostly listening to?
Were you into UK Hip-Hop in the early 90's?
LMG and I started about 90 with just two techniques and a Mic doing as much demos as we can. We shopped around for a deal but were unlucky to get signed. We must have been kicked out of every studio in Brixton, Kennington and Oval around that time. My cousin later bought himself a nice 8-track studio in Surrey Keys so we started to make beats there. LMG bought a lot of records from Red Records in Brixton and many people used to hang out there for several of reasons. I just profile to check girls and still get blast or brushed by any girl I spoke to but we met a lot of rapiers there. LMG had a friend called Marlon who was heavy into UK HipHop. He told us about
Hijack, Hard noise, MC Mello, Ragga Twins, Gunshot, MC Duke, Cash Crew, I was already into Overlord X, Derek Bowland, Rebel MC, NSO, Blade, Demon Boys, MC Merlin, DJ Pogo and so many others (memories.
I need to check my record collection).
Did you MC back then?
Hell yeah cause after the emergency of Public Enemy and LL cool J, everyone wanted to rap. But not many were that good though. There was variety of UK MC's but not that many producers around.
We did a lot of shows in Kenington park south London which is were am from, but it was all about the performance. I do live now in Canning Town, which is where everything is based.
Why did you change up to producing, it is so much more expensive and producers often get less shine than the MCs?
I have always wanted to do music but it is hard when you can't play a single instrument. In the late 80's all that change with the advent of the sampler. This single piece of equipment started the whole genre of our music culture. To some degree I can express myself more musically than lyrically. Secondly I wanted to give other people a chance to shine from my sides. Especially with Malarchi and his former crew, when these brothers grab a Microphone they just kill it. You will be left amazed by their natural ability to bless the mic. This is not just rhyming but poetry and I love good poetry. I don't like to hear myself on tape when I have these brothers around. Yes music production is so much expensive than mcing but if your hearts in it you tend to just get on with it. I mean with the right drum beat being driven by a f**ked up bassline with some strings to cool it down, you will be surprised how many souls you can possess on any given Saturday night. That my friend is a rush no drugs can intimidate. The power to move the crowd, the aura of musical relief and satisfaction, the anticipation of an angry MC who's 8 bar intro is 4 bars to long. That's what makes me keep loving this. You need to have love and respect with a lot of pride to do what I do. No one can teach you how to do this its either you have it or you don't. The key to my banging joint is to be a fan of good hip-hop music.
How has your style developed over the years? Can you put that down to anything in particular?
Well usually, my music reflects the mood am in when composing it. One minute I might be in the mood to do a beat like "No Question" the next minute am in the mood for "U 4 Days". I tend to just keep making as much beats as I can to reflect all the different sides to me. I just tend to make the kind of music I want to listen to when am in the mood for it. Music play an important role in my life and I try to tell a story with every beat that I make. I don't listen to the radio as often as I would like which is a good thing for me as I try not to get influenced by what I listen to. But my music has steadily grown and mature of the years.
What was your first credit on a record?
That was back in 94-95 I did an album "Physical Pain" with Mo Entertainment and LMG for a singer called Emeka. The first single was "Realise" and "Wish I had a minute" which is produced by Mo entertainment and remix by LMG and myself. It was released through GHC Entertainment a label owned by myself and the rest of the GHC crew. A lot of people were feeling that record especially DJ Bigger who helped to break it to the Blues & Soul chat. That was my first credit on record. As a matter of fact that record featured an MC by the name of Dreadstar who later become Malarchi.
What are your thoughts about the state of UK hip-hop?
Hmmm the state of UK Hip-Hop...I think it is looking very healthy than usual because a lot of people are paying more attention now. Lets start with us the people making it, we (the UK Hip Hop Scene) have moved from making records on white label and poorly recorded tracks to full colour sleeve with well engineered tracks that can rival with any US releases. I mean its like a wake up call that swept across the UK Hip Hop industry and more and more people started investing more into there project with decent promotion and videos. I hope it keeps growing at this rate then we would have people who has never heard of UK Hip-Hop checking the records. We still have a long way to go with regards to continue radio support and mainstream media. I am a big fan of UK Hip-Hop right now because the music is so imaginative and inspiring, always refreshing sometimes a bit provocative and teasing.
Do you think it is going somewhere or is it stagnating?
Well yes, I think it is progressing on to something bigger. By this I mean, that there are more people involved now than ever before. There are more crews, more record labels, more hip hop shows, just more people willing to make more sacrifice to achieve there goals. The only thing that can hold anyone in this game is a lack of vision and maybe more realistically finance. One thing I do respect about this game is that everyone involved with it has a mutual respect and love for what they do. I believe anyone doing uk hip-hop have some love for it and that's what keeps it alive over the troublesome years. Will it ever be main stream? I do not know the answer to that. One thing I do know is that because of that same reason, UK hip hop sound is getting better and better after every other release. If you go to HMV to buy a hip hop record, you have the option to buy something a bit predictable and instantly forgettable like most of the US import (No disrespect meant here just giving my opinion). Or you can buy UK Hip Hop which at least guarantees one or all of the things I mentioned earlier. With financial support and better promotion don't be surprise to see Mark B & Blade, Malarchi, Moorish Delta 7, Darkjoint, Out the Vile, Freddie Kruga, D-Lyte-1 to name a few at the top ten of the UK charts or any European charts.
Who are the UK artists you listen to and admire?
I do admire Ninja Tunes for their survival as a record label over the years doing
UK hip hop and so does Gemtoy records or any record company that has been supporting
UK hip hop over the last ten years. I like blade since the days of "Mind of an ordinary citizens" and MC Mello since the days of "Open up your mind". Hard Noise with "Untitled", Over Lord X "Rough in Hackney" and "14 days in May". More recently Mark B and Blade, Black Sumaria's album "the struggle continue is one of my favourite UK hip hop albums of all time. Social Misfits Collective, D-Lyte-1's album is going to separate the men from the boys, cause it is so mature. I am a big fan of Black Twang and Rodney P because they always drop something I can personally relate to. MC D's "Don't judge a book by its cover" and Psychological Enslavement Album with Silent Eclipse. Like Rodney P said on 'Dedication', "I don't feel any MC like I feel MC D, that's real." and believe me, he epitomise UK Hip-Hop for me. MC D has the all time favourite UK MC crown for me. I love DJ Skitz production on "Dedication" and his album is phat. Moorish Delta reflects the way I feel sometime so I do like to listen to their EP when am in that kind of mood. Out the vile is one of the more recent crew am feeling. Back in the day they had an MC called Karma Kazi with a track titled "The Truth" which I think was cold. I tried to buy that tune but could not find it in any record shops in London. TY tend to take things back like when we all started doing this, which is nice to bring back those memories. Creators and Nextmen are nice too with different vibes. Insane Macbeth and ice pick are killing it. There are so many others I can't remember right now but I do like that IceBerg Slim tune "Fuck You" because it has more of a UK feel to it. For the past couple of weeks I have been listening to Malarchi's album "Forgotten World" and "Going 4 D.E.L.F" the forth coming Darkjoint album but I need to make my mind up on what tracks would finally make the album. I do tracks then think it is not good enough to make the album and trying to keep with other peoples schedule does not help but its almost finish now.
Who are your UK influences?
I'm afraid am stuck in a decade long gone and that would be the 80's. I think pop music in the 80's is a lot more credible than what is being manufactured today. At least there were a lot more variety and no one wanted to sound the same or be compared to another artist. Most of what I do now is a legacy of that era especially with some of the acid and dance act. Hip Hop was a new thing to me then and LMG could not take any of that pop shit. So hanging out with him taught me a lot of things regarding beat making. He taught me most of what I know now so I guess he is my greatest
UK influence. I do like what Skitz is doing cause just like me he is a proper UK trooper with that UK vibe. I also like, Baby J, Cipher Jewels, the whole Social Misfit entourage and what Prestige is doing. I am doing couple of beats for PQ's album also a member of the Misfits. I guess production wise, 1 of the people who inspired me to do this is Neville Tomas and Pule Puto of 2B3 Productions. They just had it locked for me in the 90's. CJ Macintosh and Jazzy B with Nellie Hopper played a great part as pioneers while I was growing up. I always look up to them for inspiration in music.
Who or what are your other influences?
Growing up in a strict African home means that I was not allowed to have a radio to play none of that talk music as my dad called it. I had to listen to what ever he had on his radio. This was Classical music on Sundays, Top of the pops, the whole 60's and 70's music era including the Beatles, Stones, The Police mixed with Bee Gees, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, and Bob Marley. Top of the pops and soul train were my only source of information for new music in the 80's. All of these are my influences as it was part of my youth, not by choice but that's all I had. When I was a teenager I started buying my own tapes and records, that's when I was exposed to urban music like Ragga, Soul and R&B and finally hip hop. At first I was heavy into R&B producers like Teddy
Riley, Dallas Austin, Devante Degrate, Gene Griffins. DJ Eddie F and the Untouchables played the biggest part as production inspiration for me, LA & Baby Face, Jimmy Jam and Terry Louis, Tim and Bob, and a lot others I cant remember right now. When it comes to Hip Hop, It first started with Marly Marl, Mark the 45 king, Dr Dre, the bomb squared, EMPD and then Pete Rock, DJ Premier, DITC,
Timberland, Jazzy Jeff, Def Jeff, ATCQ, etc.
Email: Darkjoint@aol.com :: Visit Gemtoy
on the web: www.gemtoy.co.uk