A few months into her DJing career, DJ Rap played at a Telepathy rave. Outside someone was stabbed to death, just as inside Rap dropped a darkcore anthem with the sample, "Mr Kirk, your son is dead". Ravers came up to her screaming, "How could you do that?" but Rap didn't know what they were talking about. The next day the police came round to her house and said, "So you're the DJ everyone hates". Overnight all her bookings disappeared. She left London and sent herself, quite literally, to Coventry. "I didn't come home for two years because I was not welcome," she remembers with little affection. "It took a lot of time for people to get over that."
'Mr Kirk's Nightmare' by 4 Hero was the first record that changed DJ Rap's life. There's been two more since - the second was General Levy's 'Incredible'. In 1994 jungle was going overground. Levy's chart crossover hit forced all the scene's main players to form a Jungle Committee to keep the music's integrity intact. For the first time, there were lines to be drawn and rules to be kept. At one meeting the Committee decided that every major jungle DJ should boycott an upcoming Jungle Soundclash event because - they claimed - it was too cheesy. Problem was, the promoter had been good to Rap and she decided to break ranks. At the time everyone, except for Kenny Ken and Fabio, shouted her down. She later received anonymous phone calls warning her that she'd be stabbed if she played.
Rap went ahead anyway and found that half of the Committee were playing, only they were getting paid more. "So was it about morals or money?" she asks now. "I just thought, 'You fucking hypocrites'." It was the moment DJ Rap decided she wasn't going to follow anyone's rules ever again. The third record to change DJ Rap's life is her own, soon-to-be-released, second album, 'Learning Curve'. Between Reprazent winning the Mercury Prize and Goldie releasing 'Saturnz Return' it looked like drum n' bass might be ready to fulfil its promise and conquer the mainstream; instead, it's ended up turning in on itself.
But DJ Rap knows a lot about breaking new ground. Four years ago her 'Spiritual Aura' single was one of the great crossover tunes. Her subsequent mix album for Journeys By DJ showcased 'intelligent' drum n' bass a year before 'Logical Progression', while her 1995 debut album 'Intelligence' was the first drum n' bass album to appear on an independent label. Around the same time, she gazed down imperiously from billboards across the UK as the face of Caterpillar boots, over a slogan that read, "DJ Rap, Junglist".
Dj Rap continue