Your Friday night playlist curated by east London rapper D Double E

 (D Double E )
(D Double E )

Forest Gate-raised rapper D Double E was once named by Skepta as ‘the greatest of all time’, and is credited as being one of the artists who inspired Dizzee Rascal to start MCing. It’s no wonder then, that there’s been a buzz of excitement around his latest EP, in collaboration with celebrated producer TenBillion Dreams, No Reign. No Flowers., which drops today.

Double – as he is sometimes known – started out on London’s grime scene as part of N.A.S.T.Y. Crew alongside Ghetts, Kano and Jammer, before expanding into jungle and UK garage. His latest, seven track EP, sees yet again, a new sonic evolution. ‘People know me for going mad, but I’ve always to make some music that is a bit more mature and stylish,’ he tells me from his east London garden, on drizzly morning in October, ‘I’m pretty stylish in character, as a person, and I wanted to put that across in my music. More professional.’

Music is a hustle and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose

There’s a seriousness to his new music that is darker than D Double E’s previous releases. ‘It’s about getting more from life and knowing the difference between real friends and not real friends, it’s more like self-help than it is like vibes in the club. I want to give people different parts of me,’ he says. The name itself, ‘No Reign. No Flowers.’ takes inspiration from a determination to keep going in the face of challenges: ‘If you don’t make an effort and keep pushing you won’t get no flowers. Some people might want to quit when they’re not getting their own way, but music is a hustle and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. But you have to keep punching the bag. If you’re not moving you stay still.’

Having worked with the likes of Ghetts, Giggs and Skepta, D Double E has noticed a positive change in UK Rap of late: ‘Growing up, a lot of the UK artists used to be rapping in American voices or doing Jamaican voices because this is the only way they knew how to,’ he says. ‘The London voice in music has come alive in my era, now the London voice is the voice of the world I would say. Everything is being watched and is global. People aren't trying to copy accents anymore, people might even be copying us now. It’s the other way around.’

He has big plans for 2024 – though he’s keeping those under wraps for now. ‘Next year I’m gonna be coming down a little bit harder. This is just the beginning,’ he promises. His next milestone moment will come on November 24th, when he is due to play his biggest London headline show to date, at Koko in Camden – ‘it’s gonna be a special night. There are certain things I want to tick off and going live with a band is one of those things.’

As his EP drops today, D Double Curates this week’s Friday night playlist. But how would he usually spend his Friday night? ‘My Friday nights are all different, man. Nothing’s guaranteed.’ Listen to the full playlist here.

Elisabeth Troy - Greater Love 

‘This is my top drum and bass tune that I used to sing with my heart as a kid. It brings back so many memories.’

Roy Davis Jr ft Peven Everett - Gabriel

‘A personal favourite garage tune, it’s very cool. When I first heard it I was in love with it. Everytime I hear it it feels like the first time I’ve heard it.’

Dawn Penn - No, No, No

‘I watched her perform this song on Top of the Pops as a little kid. It really had me locked in. It doesn’t get old, everytime you hear it in the club everyone will be going mad. I knew from the first time I heard it that I wanted to hear it again and again.’

Simpleton - Coca Cola Shape 

‘This is a track I grew up to. I didn’t even realise what I was saying, then when I got older it was like, ok! It’s always in my head.’

2Pac ft. Dr. Dre - California Love

‘The video reminds me of Mad Max the film. Hooligans on the sand, driving around. It wasn’t like a normal video, being on the block. It was done well. I would like to know the budget on that video.’

Warren G - Regulate 

‘I would say this is one of my top five hip hop songs ever. It’s the only tune I really know from him but it’s a classic.’

Method Man - All I Need ft. Mary J. Blige

‘This is another one that just captured me. It’s just sick, and some of Method Man’s facial expressions make me laugh, he looks gangster.’

Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack

‘Anywhere this is played it’s going down. It’s funny and serious at the same time. It’s a banger. Top UK anthem. And it’s international – showing the world that we’re good.’

Bone Thugs n Harmony - Thuggish Ruggish Bone

‘What is so sick about this track is the way they used to spit. They used to remind me of myself. This one is so nice. It’s not for your fast head movements, it’s just nice.’

Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See

‘I used to do a bit of breakdancing back in the day. This tune just brings the dance element back for me. The production on it is crazy and Busta Rhymes is a boss of flows. He’s one of my top inspirations in terms of artists.’

OutKast - Ms. Jackson 

‘I just find myself singing this. They’re spitting different on there. OutKast are versatile. That tune for me stood out.’