Derek B ‘dies of heart attack’ aged 44

British rapper passes away suddenly in London

Rapper Derek B has passed away after reportedly suffering a heart attack yesterday (November 15).

The musician, real name Derek Boland, is said to have been taken to London‘s Charing Cross hospital early yesterday morning. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate him, reports Mad News. He was 44.

A pioneering figure on the UK hip hop scene in the ’80s, Derek B initially worked as an A&R man for the Music Is Life label, but recorded the track ‘Rock The Beat’ when a proposed compilation ran short of tracks. The song went on to be released as a single, and was followed by other releases including ‘Good Groove’ and ‘Get Down’.


The singles’ popularity led to a number of high-profile appearances for Derek B on mainstream UK television and radio shows including ‘Top Of The Pops’ – one of the first instances a UK rapper had been afforded such recognition.

Simon Harris, who founded Music Is Life, paid tribute to Boland today, telling NME.COM: “It is with great sadness that I heard the terrible news that Derek Boland has passed away. Derek was a wonderful person and a great talent, it was a privilege to have known and worked with him over the last 25 years.

Derek was always a huge inspiration to me and can never be replaced, his tragic death at such a young age is a great loss to everyone who has known him and also his many fans. May I offer my love and sincere condolences to his family especially to his dear mother Jenny. Rest in peace Derek B, Bad Young Brother.”

Derek B co-wrote the lyrics for Liverpool FC‘s ‘Anfield Rap’, as well as remixing and producing for acts including Eric B and Rakim.

Listen to Derek B‘s ‘Get Down’ by clicking below.