Digga D's Noughty by Nature: What You Need To Know
If you’re into the subgenre of UK rap music known as drill, it’s unlikely that Digga D will need much of an introduction at this point. If not necessarily the first London MC to popularise drill’s hard, aggressive style, then Digga D is certainly one of its pioneers and leading lights.
For those less familiar with the drill scene, or with Digga himself, it’s possible that you’ve heard much of the fuss surrounding drill via the daily newspapers, whose take on an urban genre they have little real interest in understanding is that its lyrics incite violence, even blaming it for a rise in knife crime in London, among other things.
We’ve been here before, of course, with hip-hop, and the rave scene before that, as well as with games like Grand Theft Auto, all of which have been charged with in some way damaging or corrupting groups of young people, generating various moral panics along the way.
But while we could make neat arguments about whether the violence expressed in drill is a negative influence on the artists’ environment, or merely an expression of it, the truth is never quite so straightforward and, as Digga D says himself in a BBC Three documentary of which he is the subject: “It’s probably a bit of both.”
And let’s be clear; Digga D is no angel. His involvement in a knife brawl in 2020 saw him serve a prison sentence, but the stringent conditions of a 2017 Criminal Behaviour Order placed on Digga and his collective 1011 include requiring him to get permission from the Metropolitan Police before releasing any new music, effectively giving them power of the contents of his lyrics (the CBO specifically prohibits references to London postcodes, as well as real-life incidents or people).
Somehow, despite this, Digga has already released two mixtapes – 2016’s Double Tap Diaries and 2021’s Made in the Pyrex – reaching No. 11 and No.3, respectively, in the UK Album Chart.
Now he’s back with his third full-length effort, Noughty by Nature, which arrives in stores this Friday (April 15). Here’s everything you need to know…
Who’s producing it?
Aaron Godeluck, Aod, Cage Beats, Nyge and R14 Beats are all listed as producers on the new album.
Any special guests?
There are various features across the album including appearances from Still Brickin’, B-Lovee, Moneybagg Yo, AJ Tracey and Maverick Sabre, among others.
What does it sound like?
‘Pump 101’ is one of several highlights on the new mixtape, teaming demented organs with a heavy rhythm for one of its real bangers, along with others like ‘G Lock’, but elsewhere there are smooth R&B influences on ‘Hold it Down’ and swelling strings and twinkling keys underpinning the slow beats of ‘What You Reckon’.
Does it deliver?
It’s easy to see why, despite all the strife outside of his music, Digga has become one of drill’s most prominent figures; there’s real charisma and style to his delivery and his lyrics, while not always subtle, are often relatable even to those living outside of London’s hectic environs. When the furore around drill eventually dies down, as it always does, the music will still be there and Digga D is already building an impressive body of work. You can only hope that in retrospect it’ll receive the wider acclaim it deserves, and that the violence that surrounds him doesn’t put a premature end to this impressive young talent.
Noughty by Nature is available in stores now - you can also find it here in our online store.