One of the most unlikely club tracks to break the UK top 40 last year was an unforgettable banger called “Thou Shalt Always Kill.” The track was credited to Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, which initially was just a remix creation by a techno artist (Dan) England who dropped some beats on top of a spoken-word album by a local beat poet whom he had been friends with (David Meads, aka Scroobius). Despite only cutting a limited-edition seven-inch single, the track quickly spread like a virus and became an underground global sensation. At one point, BBC radio jock Zane Lowe deemed it “the hottest track in the world right now” and legendary Brit music gossip rag NME gushed, “Scroobius Pip, you’ve written the Track Of The Year.”
While numerous great lines are dropped throughout, arguably the most memorable part of the song is when Mean exclaims, “Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were,” and then proceeds to read a long laundry list of seemingly infallible bands, following each name with the phrase “…just a band.” (“The Beatles? Just a band…Led Zeppelin? Just a band…”)
“Music is hugely important and it’s something that gets us through tough times and tough situations…[so] a great amount of pressure and worth is upon the people who gave us that music,” Meads says, “but they are the normal people too…they do have normal day to day lives and they are just people making music, so it’s something to bare in mind.”
It may seem a bit arrogant for a new artist to make such a crass attempt at tearing down the image of bands loved universally by so many, but in reality, Meads is anything but.
“Lyrically I’m not trying to say, ‘Here’s the answer’ or ‘This is right,’” he says about his writing. “I simply put across my views and opinions and if you agree with it, great. If you don’t, then that’s great too, it adds to the discussion, that’s the whole point of it.” (Brad Knutson)
Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, with Yea Big + Kid Static and Vyle at Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western, (773)276-3600 on March 12 at 9pm. $10.