When he was 15, he started DJing in a mobile unit around London and later at Bentley's, before joining local pirate radio stations such as Kiss FM and LWR and finally starting his own station, WBLS (not to be confused with the radio station of the same name in New York). Here is an extract from the UK Hip Hop History about Derek B:
"The label [Music Of Life] originally started producing compilations of US Hip Hop, but due to a lack of material and finances to acquire more licenses for the first record 'Def Beats 1' in 1986, the company's A R man Derek Boland saved the day and pretending to be both DJ and MC recorded a track 'Rock the Beat'. Derek B (and Ezq!) was born and Music of Life had started putting out UK Hip Hop.
Derek B followed up this record with his debut proper 'Get Down' and two more 12"s on Music of life: 'Good Groove' and 'We Got the Juice' both of which charted, Good Groove reaching #16, and subsequently he was to appear on Top of the Pops at a time that the only Rap groups that had been on were Break Machine and Doug E Fresh. Being the first UK rapper to accomplish pop hits he was quickly snapped up by Rush Artist Management and Tuff Audio, Phonogram's new Hip Hop imprint where he continued to release 12"s such as 'Bad Young Brother' and specials like 'Def B-Boy'.
Having been a parody from day one though, Derek B was never to receive acclaim from the underground although there was much of merit in his work. He rapped with an American accent and symbolised the deep engrained argument that UK artists should use their own voices and not copy others".
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