There have been many, many, many Christmas D&B bootlegs and novelty unauthorised festive bangers over the years but very few official, original D&B Christmas songs. Certainly not a whole mini-album’s worth of them. Until today.
Renowned New Zealand vibe maestro and unfailing positivity merchant Camo MC has recruited 25 different producers and MCs from four different countries to create Santa Is A DnB Head & Other Christmas Tales. Dropped December 1 to kickstart the seasonal spirit and proffer some positivity into the scene the album features the likes of Starz & Deeza, Octo-Pi, Y DOTT, Trafic MC and even NZ legend and Fat Freddy’s Drop hype man MC Slave.
Delivered in Camo’s fizzy, vibrant style with multiple vocalists going tinsel toe-to-tinsel toe, the album includes two official D&B Christmas songs – Santa Is A DnB Head and Merry Drum & Bass Christmas – and a collection of sunny-side holiday-ready bangers to fit the current summer season on the other side of the planet.
Yeah, as if the fact that New Zealand and Australia can rave again isn’t quite enough to rub our noses in it over here, it’s also gorgeous weather down under right now. Before our jelly levels intensify so much we get put on the naughty list for life we called up the man in charge. Previously only releasing one track singles, this is Camo MC’s first multi-track release. Ho ho ho hold tight rudeboy…
Take us back to the start…
It all started back in January. I had a tune with Starz & Deeza from London and MC Zee from Canada produced by UK donnie B-PLEXX. It was all about road tripping around playing shows and was tied together by a couple of skits. I made the tune for an EP that never ended up happening, but the tune was too dope to go to waste.
Most of my single releases are aimed at the dance, but this tune was different. It was created for rolling up a zoot and listening to in the sun with a few homies or while missioning around with your besties. So I needed a concept EP or album for it to go on, and that’s when Santa Is A DnB Head really started coming together.
In New Zealand Christmas is a little different, it also ties in with our festival season and summer holidays, so my thinking was a Christmas album with a twist; a couple of Christmas tunes and some summer bangers to help bring in the festive season on our side of the globe. A major goal of mine is also to push MC culture in drum & bass on our side of the world, so I decided to get as many different MCs as I could from around the globe on the project, and things started to really come together.
Are you into Christmas songs anyway?
I’ve ALWAYS been obsessed with Christmas specials. When I was a teenager I was inspired by hip-hop Christmas albums such as Christmas On Death Row and Snoop Dogg’s Christmas In The Dogghouse as well as an album called Punk Rock Christmas that my little brother chucked on one year. I also got the South Park compilation Mr Hankey’s Christmas Classics on CD one Christmas and I THRASHED it. I loved that Matt Stone and Trey Parker had not only made up their own completely original Christmas character but their own Christmas carol too. In my creative teenage mind, this was genius.
So it only made sense that I would eventually write my own Christmas Carol Santa Is a DnB Head with a bunch of MCs jamming about how much Santa loves Drum & Bass on top of some sick jungle breaks with a dutty bassline and sleigh bells too, of course.
Besides bootlegs, I don’t think there’s been any commercial D&B Christmas music before… Do you know if this is the first?
As far as I know, the two D&B Christmas carols I’ve got on the album are the first of their kind. There have been remixes of Christmas carols, but no completely original ones. Now people all over the world can rap along to the hook on Merry Drum & Bass Christmas with all their nearest and dearest,
“Merry Drum & Bass Christmas my Gs, DnB worldwide family, we got gifts to give, and people to see, spreading good vibes around the Christmas tree”
I’m REALLY hoping we can get these blasting through malls around the world this Christmas!
We need some positivity right now don’t we?
Of course! The DnB scene can be so bloody serious sometimes, and I do take what I do very seriously as well, but sometimes we just have to stop, have a laugh and celebrate life together. Especially after the year we’ve had.
Totally. If you could get any three D&B artists in the world any present of any value what would you get them, and why?
Firstly, I’d suss Andy C a hoon on Santa’s sleigh so this Christmas he can travel the world giving everyone some well needed drum & bass cheer. Secondly, Imma get Skiba into Buckingham Palace on Christmas day so he can throw down a PROPER Christmas speech instead of the Queen, junglist styles. Thirdly, I’d get Goldie some special leopard skin undies with a Metalheadz logo imprinted for him to do his yoga in.
Ha! Do you think Santa is more on a chill / liquid tip or do you think he’s more of a jump-up head to keep him going throughout his deliveries?
He’s actually really into his ragga jungle I believe. He’s got the OG pressing of Original Nuttah as well as all of the early Congo Natty stuff. You can actually hear him singing along to Tenor Fly and Top Cat hooks as he flies around the globe delivery pressies.
Yes! What’s the best xmas present you’ve ever had?
Music. As a teenager I didn’t have a job, so every birthday and Christmas I would request my parents to get me different CDs and tapes that I wanted. This is well before you could get any music by the click of a mouse, so I’d spend Christmas day eating food and cranking my new punk rock, metal or hip-hop albums in my sleep out.
What’s the worst?
Growing up probably socks, undies and deodorant. Although as an adult and a touring muso, you actually appreciate these type of gifts more than you used to! I don’t even wanna know how many pairs of socks I’ve lost on the road. So chur Aunty, hook up that six-pack of fine cotton goodness!
Speaking of goodness, tell us how great things are in NZ right now scene-wise!
I’m not gonna lie, I actually find it really hard to answer this when my UK friends say, “So how’s the scene over there?” Because really, it’s fantastic.
Because we haven’t had any international acts in this year, it’s given some of the local up-n-comers a really solid chance to establish themselves, which is really awesome! We’ve got an epic summer tour mapped out and I even get to MC at a festival with DnB legend Concord Dawn, all things going well.
A few UK artists have been given exempt to come to NZ this festive season as it’s good for our economy – how crazy is that? Of course they have to quarantine for a couple of weeks and that, but the fact that DnB makes so much money for NZ that the government is cool with letting these guys in is absolute madness. So Friction, Macky Gee, Dimension, K Motionz and Sub Focus will all be playing their first shows in god knows how long this summer in lil ol’ New Zealand.
I’m hoping this means good things to come for the whole of the worldwide DnB community, the Covid19 afterparty is going to be one for the record books, that’s for sure! I’ll meet you all there!
YES. So how does a Camo MC celebrate his xmas?
In NZ we have a big Christmas roast for lunch so will usually do that with my family then feel sick for the rest of the day after having six too many plates of desert. Every year I also make my kids watch, A Muppet Family Christmas from 1987, where the whole Muppet crew go to stay at Fozzie’s Aunty’s cabin in the middle of nowhere. It also features cameos from the Sesame Street crew as well as the Fraggle Rock gang. I love it so much, it just makes me feel warm and at home. It really is no surprise I’ve made my own Christmas album.
Awesome. Please shout out everyone involved to sign out!
First of all I have to big up my squad Starz & Deeza and MC Zee. These guys are the reason why I first started working with other DnB MCs and are straight up family to me. Zee is on three tracks on the album, which is huge as he’s the only MC that features more than once other than Slave on the Intro and Outro.
Speaking of Zee, I have to show love to the rest of the Canadian fam the feature too, all repping for Toronto, David Keith, Bandit Emcee, Catalyst Emcee, MC JD, Brockout and Troopa. Again, family vibes with this lot. The Canadian team are so special to me, watch out for the video release for BBQ coming soon, filmed in both Canada and NZ.
The UK gang came in strong on this one with Octo Pi bringing his usual style to production, this time joined by fellow Bristol gang and members of his crew Outlines, Y DOTT and Trafic MC. We’ve got Spookasonic in there representing for HIGH3R L3V3L and Mucky, MC J.O.K repping for Essex, MC Reeality standing tall for Young Guns and the Midlands team, fast rising produced B-PLEXX and Y-Zer stepping up for the GTA squad and killing it for the ladies, as always.
And of course I had to have some Australasian MCs & producers up in this, including my bro Dtechmc out of Australia and Gawn Deep, Furious Hori, Young Gho$t, LNGSLV, and Nicky Smirk and coming in strong for the homeland, which of course is, New Zealand.
Special shout to NZ hip hop legend and Fat Freddy’s Drop hype man, Mark Williams aka MC Slave aka Loggy Logg on the intro and outro. Slave is an absolute don over here, I used to watch him on TV hosting his own show growing up, so to have one of the OGs of the NZ scene introing and outroing the album in true Christmas style is nothing short of a blessing.
25 different artists from 4 different countries, all tracks featuring at least 4 different MCs, that’s history making in itself. As the song says MERRY DRUM & BASS CHRISTMAS MY GS!