premiere: terror danjah, 'cock back' (instrumental)

“We wouldn’t get away with making that today,” Terror tells us as he makes the seminal grime track available as an instrumental for the first time.

by Hattie Collins
|
22 April 2016, 12:10pm

Back in 2003, grime was submerged in what would later become its defining golden era; there were a proliferation of instrumentals that you could hear being torn apart on Déjà Vu and pulled up at Eskimo Dance -- "Igloo," "Creeper," "Birds In The Sky" and, one particular highlight, Terror Danjah's "Cock Back."

The 3 minutes and 41 seconds long song -- featuring Riko, Bruza Crazy Titch, Hyper, D Double E and Riko -- was a nihilistic sonic assault that was unadulterated in its unambiguous violence. Packed full of pounding gunshots, a sample from Jamaican gangsta classic Shottas and the classic D Double lyric, 'Think you're a big boy cos you got a beard/ Bullets will make your face look weird/… Think you're a big boy cos you go gym? Bullets will cave your whole face in.' "Cock Back" was shocking in its delivery and execution and fast became a defining instrumental within the scene.

As part of a new release, Lost Mini Discs 2, which features a wealth of previously unreleased Terror Danjah bangers, the Forest Gate producer is finally releasing the instrumental to "Cock Back" -- premiering below. We caught up with Terror to catch a few memories of creating one of grime's most meaningful moments.

Why have you decided to drop the instrumental now -- why didn't you put it out back in '03?
Back then I wanted the vocal to get life. It's been over 12 years and grime is still going strong. It's got a bigger wider audience and I feel a lot of the new audience don't know about "Cock Back," so this will reintroduce it.

Take us back to 2003 and making the tune.
I was 22 at the time, living at home with my dad. I was known to be an up and coming jungle/ drum & bass DJ at that point. I was quite known back then, I'd always been a 'hood celebrity', because myself and D Double had been on radio from 1996 till 2000. Anyway, I made the beat in January 2003. Hyper walked into my house and heard it, and he automatically started spitting the chorus we all know and love. I said, 'That's the tune'. We got D Double E and Crazy Titch on it, and we wanted Durrty Doogz (Durrty Goodz) but he was unavailable. Riko was on fire, so Riko was actually perfect for the job. Me and Crazy Titch grew up on the same road, with D.O.K & Magnum Force. D Double went to my secondary school. Bruza went to my college in 1996. And Riko I always knew from the 90's through mutual friends, being at radio and raves. So it all made sense to get them on the tune.

The Shottas sample -- whose idea was that?
It was my idea, I was infatuated with that film at the time. It's still one of my favorites to this today.

Can you break down the layers of the instrumental: the synth sounds, the water drops, the gun shots…
I remember hearing a lot of Dizzee Rascal tunes where the style and swing on his tunes were different. He had gun-shots going throughout his tune and I wanted the gun shot in "Cock Back" just as a sound effect. As I was playing around with the gun shot, that's when I got the idea to turn it into a tune. That became the basis of "Cock Back."

How different was it to make a track like "Cock Back" then, as opposed to 2016?
That was one of most violent tunes and still is. I don't we would get away with making and having those type of lyrics in general today. It was just a hype tune, but it was also definitely a freedom of expression. Today, most -- not all -- but most people are on that politically correct music for that wider audience, which I'm not saying is bad either. Although road rap is what we was doing in 2003. Grime is more diluted nowadays -- there's not a lot of risk takers in my opinion.

Available as part of Terror's Lost Mini Discs 2 release, buy "Cock Back," as well as a wealth of other previously unreleased Terror Danjah bangers, including Code Morse and Good Love Ft. D.O.K here

@Terror Danjah

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