From radio-friendly rapper to staunch junglist soldier, Rebel MC’s musical journey has been a transitional one.
I’m not sure what was in the water supply around the Romford area during the early 90’s, but this North East London town was a hive of creativity and vision during the golden years of rave.
You have to feel sorry for M-Beat… When General Levy, an MC with his roots in the dancehall claimed that he was “runnin’ jungle” the fallout that followed passed into drum & bass legend. The story goes that after being annoyed by this careless boast, a committee of top DJ’s and producers calling themselves the ‘Jungle Council’ boycotted Levy and anyone playing his records. Unfortunately for M-Beat, Levy was the MC responsible for the infamous vocals on his biggest hit (and only jungle record to ever break the top 10), ‘Incredible’. This effectively ended M-Beat’s career which was a great shame, as up until this point he had a near flawless back-catalogue of ragga-flavoured jungle anthems including Rumble, Shuffle and Surrender. Nevertheless, tarnished through association, M-Beat was persona non grata within the junglist fraternity, and subsequently shunned by the scene’s top players.
Up until late 1993, the terms Hardcore and Jungle had been used interchangeably to mean one and the same, but there was a divide growing. Just as darkside Hardcore came about as a reaction to the commercial side of rave, some DJ’s felt the scene had gone too dark.