Craig Dalziel a.k.a. Dap-C is an MC originally from Newcastle who has the ability to divide opinion equally between fans and haters. With a new LP out and following on the back of some unsavoury rumours about domestic violence, Dap-C takes his chance to speak to Aidan Severs and tell his story.
Can you tell us your necessary background details so we can build on basics for the rest of the interview? For example: who you are, projects you have worked on, people you have worked with…
Dap-C: My name is Craig Dalziel a.k.a. Dap-C, I’m originally from Newcastle, but currently live in the Midlands. I have just released an album with producer Dirty Sweet called ‘Street Karma’ which also features Blak Twang, Skinnyman, Fallacy, Lewis Parker, Geejay, MC Beads, Kid Rad and many more big UK names.
What are your current or upcoming projects? i.e. albums, singles, tours, guest spots…
Dap-C: I’m releasing the ‘Ma Money EP’ with Lil Wayne on 03/11/08, the EP also features Royce Da 5’9”, Professor Green, S.A.S, Big Cakes, Madnessity, Sabotawj, R.H.BLESS and many more.
My solo album ‘Chasing The High’ is due for release March 2009, featuring some massive names from the US.
I’m featured on many forthcoming projects such as the new single from Nasty Boi called ‘Wanna Buck’ track also features Madnessity, DJ Grind, Dreno and Drast. We just shot the video for that, the track is on a hype rock tip!
I’m also heavily featured on the forthcoming album from producer Stealf, we just shot the video for the first single ‘The Music’ which also features Madnessity, Universon and Lunatrix – watch out for that!
On ‘Street Karma’ you hook up with a nice selection of big UK names, how did that come about?
Dap-C: The whole concept of that album was a big collaboration project, so we reached out to as many UK artists as we could, my favourite track on the album is ‘Music Game’ which features Blak Twang and Geejay – Check out the video on youtube now!
How would you describe your sound? Is there any one track that would best define your style?
Dap-C: My style is pretty versatile, so there isn’t really one track that defines it.
On my ‘Chasing The High’ album you will get the full picture of Dap-C’s range, as there’s tracks on the album that aren’t even hip hop, there’s a rock track and even an acoustic ballad on there!
Who have been your biggest musical influences and which Hip Hop artists have inspired you? Which are your favourite albums? What music were you brought up on?
Dap-C: My biggest influences have to be people like Michael Jackson, Axel Rose, Ice T, NWA, Snoop Dogg. Al Green, etc.
My favourite albums have to be Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Guns & Roses’ Appetite For Destruction, both Dre albums, Eminem’s Slim Shady LP, the list could go on forever…
What is your earliest memory of anything Hip Hop related? First rap track heard? First time you rapped?
When I was 11 years old someone gave me a tape, one side was Ice T, the other side was NWA, since that moment I have been addicted to hip hop.
First time I rapped was just singing along to those tapes in the early years of high school.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Hip Hop scene in the Midlands or in Newcastle?
Dap-C: I have no interest in the local scenes in either places. I’m more focused on talking about things on a global scale.
On ‘Music Game’ you talk about having to work a normal day job, something most rappers in this country can relate to. What do you think about the Hip Hop scene in the UK, where do you think it’s headed? Are things good / bad? What are your current philosophical thoughts on the current trends in rap music?
Dap-C: There was a time when for many years I had to work a day job and rap in my spare time, but now music is my career it feels kind of surreal that I’m finally able to do this for a living.
The UK hip hop scene is getting better and better, year by year, but it is in my eyes still just a scene and not yet an industry, I didn’t realise just how far behind the states we are as a ‘scene’ until I spent some time out there this year!
What process do you go through when writing a track? Do you start with a beat, a concept, a lyric that you thought of in the shower? What happens next?
Dap-C: I normally start with an idea and write as much as I can in my head, then take the idea to a producer and see what they have that fits my idea best, then develop the idea from there.
Writing songs to me is an art form and therefore no set formula to it, and if I had a formula that worked every time, there is no way I would share it with you.
Like a job interview… Where do you hope to see yourself in five years, ten years time? Is it an achievable goal?
Dap-C: In five years time I’ll be grinding as hard as I do today, but in ten years time I’ll be retired by then as I’ll be nearly 40, so I’ll be doing more stuff on the label side of things.
Any last words?
Dap-C: Check out www.myspace.com/dapc and make sure to check out all the NGU family on my top friends list!