Touted as the new protégés of Soul II Soul and Jazzie B, London, England band N-Troop comprises DJ Dessie D, Yvonne (vocals; Dessie D’s sister) and Stuart OV (rapper). They met Jazzie B when they were recording in the studio next door in the early 90s, and the renowned producer was so enamoured with N-Troop’s ‘Matter Of Fakt’ that he had a contract drawn up for them the next day. The song extolled the names and achievements of a roster of black people and artists. The brother and sister team grew up singing in the gospel churches of the West Midlands, while Stuart OV’s delivery was informed by the reggae sound systems of south London, where he grew up. As a dancehall DJ (equating to MC in rap terms) he had begun recording in 1985 for Smiley Culture’s Happening label, making his debut with ‘Save Me Your Love’. As N-Troop there was a conscious effort to reflect rap from a black British perspective, rather than American. Rather than drive-by shootings, lyrics touched on the ‘joy-riding’ craze and the murder of James Bolger. ‘Matter Of Fakt’ was released as only the second single on Jazzie B’s newly inaugurated Funki Dred Records, but the band’s career was disrupted when the label suffered problems caused by the withdrawal of its backers’ funding.
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