Ladbroke Grove’s Digga D has always been in the limelight, whether it’d be the blogs or the news – but often it was for all the wrong reasons. There’s been run-ins with the law, and even a bizarre censorship ruling on his lyrics to ensure it doesn’t ‘incite violence’. Digga D (real name Rhys Herbert) has risen above it to make a name for himself on his own terms; his debut project, ‘Double Tap Diaries’, just missed out on a Top Ten spot on the UK charts while he was incarcerated, showing the UK that there was no stopping him.
With his new mixtape ‘Made In The Pyrex’, he clearly wants the world to know too. Wreaking havoc with stellar hits like ‘Woi’ and ‘Chingy’ last year, the 20-year-old brings an international approach to his sound, meshing together the blaring nature of Chicago drill with UK’s standard bassline. In the music video and its lyrics, ‘Chingy’ makes a nod to US rap culture; “Get an opp right thurr, and get chingy, chingy” – a nostalgic reference to the southern twang of Missouri artist Chingy’s 2003 hit ‘Right Thurr’. With UK drillers gaining some competition across the pond, Digga’s passion to be the next international drill superstar is blatant.
When Digga D isn’t talking about his time in jail and the Homerton star “Unknown T [being his] celly”, he flings fans a dancehall-style track in the shape of ‘Window’. It’s a surprise for strictly drill fans – especially since Digga has seldom used his Jamaican heritage to define his image or his music – but hearing him use patois in the track makes for an entertaining listen. The mixture of his signature self-assured cockiness with the grandiose nature of this style of dancehall makes for a real moment; perhaps it’s not just the US that Digga D has his eyes set on.
No matter the stipulations placed upon one of west London’s most influential drill stars, Digga has proved that the only way is up for him. Only a true linguist can think of clever ways to say what he wants regardless of what rules he’s been given – this talent seems unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
- Release date: February 26
- Record label: CGM Records