Introducing Dominic West: Rapper

Dominic West as Hector Madden in 'The Hour'

MC Dominic West as  fresh Hector Madden in ‘The Hour’

Showbusiness, you have many surprises for unwary travellers, and this might be one of the larger ones.

So, in case you’re not a follower of UK pop hop, Rizzle Kicks are a bratty pair of rappers called Jordan and Harley, with what my gran would have called “a bit of a thing” about brassy old records from the 40s, 50s and 60s. They take these base elements and turn them into pop gold, that is what they do.

What they don’t do is make gritty dramas about urban life in Baltimore, or gritty dramas about British serial killers, or any of the kind of dramatic presenations in which you would normally expect to see the actor Dominic West.

However, Dominic has taken a starring role on the new Rizzle Kicks album, entitled “Roaring 20s,” thanks partly to his friendship with the album’s producer Ant Whiting, and partly to the Rizzlers being massive fans of his work in The Wire.

Dominic appears on two songs, “Put Your Two’s Up” (produced by Fatboy Slim), and the lead single “That’s Classic,” in which he basically shouts like a man with his knackers in a vise.

Jordan told the Sun: “When we’d finished watching The Wire it was almost like losing a close friend. Being able to have the star of the show on our record was definitely one of those ‘pinch myself’ moments.

“We’d mentioned to Ant about our love for The Wire and he said, ‘Yeah, we go way back. He lives round the corner. We should get him to do something on a track’.

“Having Dom in the studio was awesome. Not only did we have a proper laugh making the song, we were able to have some drinks, which was a good opportunity to get to know him and ask him a bucketload of questions.”

Here’s the video for ‘That’s Classic,’ in which you can hear Dominic bellowing like Brian Blessed. Oh, and it’s a little sweary:

Whatever next? Maybe some kind of Wire reunion/collaboration with the equally-musical Idris Elba.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2. He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage. Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
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