“So yeah ‘jackuum’; it’s a word I’ve been saying for 10-15 years. It basically means to reload. To ‘jack it back’ historically means to reload. And the phrase ‘jack ’em’ actually means to rob someone. My word ‘jackuum’ means reload but because it’s a phrase, you get the other meaning as well. And every time you hear it at a rave, you’re going to want to reload. When I touch the mic, I get a ‘jackuum’, and that’s what I’m known for.”
The best grime MCs have bars that act as a kind of signature, lyrics that let you know it’s them and only them you are hearing. D Double E on the other hand has his own vocabulary. The legendary grime rapper has been dubbed ‘the MC’s MC’ and for good reason: his distinctive flow and unique bank of signature sounds have become emblems of grime, often inciting the loudest crowd reactions at a rave. Now, over 20 years into his career as an MC, Darren Dixon, better known as D Double E, is releasing his debut album Jackuum! on his own label, Bluku Bluku Music.
‘Jackuum’ is one of D Double E’s signature terms and it contains a lot of history. It pertains to the practice of ‘reloading’ at grime raves, pulling a track back to the start when energy levels reach boiling point. Rather than serve as a move to ensure that decibels are kept at an acceptable health-and-safety level, a reload doubles the hype and usually results in pandemonium once the track begins again. Reloading is no cheap trick however and any attempt to try and pull a track back when the energy is not a climax point will totally fall flat. Procuring reloads at raves requires a skilled MC and there are perhaps none more skilled at them than D Double E.
The East London raised lyricist is perhaps one of the only MCs that can get a reload with as little as just a noise (search ‘Just Jam 009’ on YouTube), but it’s not just at raves that he has made a mark. His signature tracks such as ‘Street Fighter Riddim’ and ‘Bluku Bluku!’ are staple grime numbers that are regularly quoted by fans and artists alike, whenever grime or D Double’s name comes up in conversation (see the YouTube video on the phrase ‘Bluku, Bluku’ as an example).
Given D Double’s reputation and his well-sustained career as an MC, it’s an astonishing thing that he’s yet to have released a proper full length. As he explains over the phone however it is only over the last few years when he has focused more on his work as a solo project (as opposed to the group that he founded with fellow MC Footsie, Newham Generals) that he has been able to start formulating an album’s length worth of songs: “Now it’s just fully me. Now I’m just in the space that I was in when I was becoming an artist. Where I would just look and just do my own thing. I’ve gone back to being in my own space and just cooking up the magic that makes me become me.”
The new album doesn’t disappoint. It is littered with heavy bangers and contains a range of select features, from ‘the godfather’ Wiley, on to one of the kings of the new generation, AJ Tracey. AJ is another one of D Doubles big fans, as D Double explains: “I sent the track ‘Natural Organic’ over to AJ and he loved it. He went to the studio straight away. We met at a show not too long ago and he just said let me know if there’s anything I need. So yeah I feel AJ like that.”
“I’ve gone back to being in my own space and just cooking up the magic that makes me become me.”
As well as AJ Tracey, one of D Double’s other biggest fans is his mum, who is always on top of what releases D Double is putting out, as he notes warmly: “My mum listens to my music a lot. Not in the car like banging it out but she keeps up to date with what I’m doing. I don’t have to tell her that I have a new track out, she’ll be aware of it. If I’ve got a new track out I’ll see her message underneath one of my videos.”
D Double seems confident about his mum’s reaction to his new work. He explains she always give him her honest opinion and she has been positive about what she has heard so far: “It’s like if I play a beat to my mum or something she might instantly be like ‘I don’t like this tune’, you get me, but today she might hear it and enjoy it. I think it all sounds a bit more professional than before.”
He pauses for a moment before adding: “She always says good things about my music but she does tell me to stop smoking”. A resolution to enact perhaps after the album party celebrations are over. It’s been a long time coming.
Jackuum! is released this February via Bluku Bluku Music.