EXPIRED: 11/16/09 – Derek B, 44, was born Derek Boland, and at the age of 15 started DJing around London.
In 1986, the Music of Life label planned to release a compilation of U.S. hip hop artisits called Def Beats 1 but they were short a few tracks.
Boland, an A&R man at the label, was tapped to submit a beat called “Rock the Beat”. He rapped over it under the pseudonym EZQ and released it as Derek B. It did well enough that the label followed up with two more, “Good Groove” and “Get Down,” both in in ’88.
Derek B became the first UK rapper to hit the mainstream and appear on the influencial show ‘Top Of The Pops.’ While visiting family in NYC, he hooked up with Mr. Magic’s radio show and linked with United States based management company Rush Artist Management, which was owned by Hip-Hop Mogul Russell Simmons.
Derek B.’s best known album was titled Bullet From a Gun, which was released on the record label Tuff Audio in 1988. Additionally Derek B. experienced success as a producer and a re-mixer working with girl group The Cookie Crew, as well as rap pioneers Eric B. and Rakim.
Boland, aka Derek B, had a heart attack in London and died en route to the hospital.