UK rapper Dave has undoubtedly had great success. Earlier this year, he sold out London’s O2 arena and his last album, We’re All Alone In This Together, went platinum in the UK. So now more than ever, it would seem as if the young artist is unstoppable. However, although it may be hard to believe, there was a time when the rapper was on the underground and struggling to make ends meet. Today, we will look at an incredible freestyle the artist performed for the legendary SBTV when he was only 17 years old.
Born and raised in Streatham, Dave is unique with respect to his lyrics. Even at the age of 17, he seemed highly conscious of his surroundings and the issues facing his community. Critical of gangs and of Britain’s structural and political defects, Dave had something different to offer the UK beyond the materialism and glorification of crime that plagues genres such as UK drill. He was just never given a voice.
However, that changed when the late Jamal Edwards first heard him through a friend. Describing the video, Jamal wrote: “When I first heard Dave, I had to get him on SB to spray some fire as the realness he delivers is on point & he’s only just turned 17!” This was Dave’s first appearance on a mainstream, reputable UK urban media outlet, and it changed his career in a flash as he suddenly began to garner the attention of major labels.
Earlier this year, during his sell-out O2 show, Dave paid tribute to the late Jamal proclaiming, “he gave me an opportunity when no one would,” and disclosed the entrepreneur paid for one of his earliest music videos when the rapper couldn’t afford it, revealing Edwards did it “out of the love and kindness of his heart”.
Dave continued, “Every single thing that I have today I owe to Jamal Edwards… I want to say I’m so, so, so grateful for you, brother. Jamal, I love you, I love you, I love you.”
With this old SBTV freestyle being such a critical part of Dave’s career, it is only right we bring it to you. You can watch Dave’s SBTV ‘Warm Up Session’ in the video below.