On the Content and Contribution of MCs in British Drum 'n' Bass

Alistair Fraser

Abstract


Drum 'n' bass music has received some attention from academics but the contributions of MCs who perform onstage alongside DJs in live events and broadcasts needs further consideration. In response, and using MC lyrics, secondary interviews and Tweets, this article is a "critical celebration" of what MCs bring to British drum 'n' bass. The critique concerns the content of what MCs say, some of which I argue undermines the cultural and economic potential of the music. The celebration explores what MCs bring to drum 'n' bass, particularly practices that I suggest should be viewed as community services. I therefore argue that MCs are community workers, providing, leading, building and networking in ways that help generate solidarity, reciprocity, and alliances within and across an overlapping and diverse world of drum 'n' bass.



Keywords


drum ‘n’ bass music; MCs; cooperation; electronic dance music

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