I have just been informed that 80s UK rapper Derek B (real name Derek Boland) has died.

Derek B was the first UK rapper to achieve pop success and went on to sign with Rush Artist Management. During this period he released several singles and the album Bullet From a Gun in 1988.

Boland suffered a heart attack and died in hospital.

Rest In Peace Derek.

148 replies »

  1. R.I.P. Del

    Listening to you spin @ Bentleys as a teen,
    and also had the pleasure of filming your shows with Linden C & Sipho up & down the country in the 80’s…
    Lots of great memories!
    my deepest condolences to your Family & Friends.
    OneLove & Light

  2. I was derek b girl friend and I was with him when he died
    he was a lovely guy and i loved him very much.
    He died at charing cross hospital. It was very sad and some of his closest friends came over he will be in the chapel of rest today

    my love of my life

  3. thank you for that i loved him so much he is at peace his mum is flying in from dubai today
    she will be with him today.
    he was very amazing he died in the ambulance at 5.00pm and they did cpr until 5.58pm they couldnt do anymore
    I cant believe he has gone and I keep playing his last messages that he said yesterday morning.
    derek b is going to be missed

  4. I did not believe it when I heard it on facebook. I used to love his music when I was growing up in Sweden in the 80s.

    RIP Legend and pioneer!

  5. Truly a sad day after another great of his era, has left us..

    Your music & spirit lives on

    R.I.P Derek



    Leave a Reply

  8. Was one of the first rappers I got into back in the late 80s. Had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of years back when he was selling off some of his old vinyl.
    Top bloke – he even bust a verse of ‘Bad Young Brother’ acapella for me and my mate!

  9. Still dont believe it, waiting for Sid to ring he will be devastated. Lovely guy and sorry for everyones loss. xxx

  10. A real shock and so sad. I remember those days in the 80’s with me, Heidi and Derek in Soho, Rest In Peace Derek you didnt deserve this x

  11. Real sad news… The UK Hip Hop scene has lost one of its main influences. Derek/EZQ was ahead of his time and is now gone before his time.

  12. On behalf of all The Laviniere family, our sincere condolences to all the family and loved ones at this sudden tragic news. A true leader and founder.
    A pioneer who went where others followed a legend from day one.
    He will be sorely missed. Bobby n Steve and Family.

  13. Such sad news.. A true Pioneer for Black Music/artists in this country. We all owe you!

    Condolences to your family and friends

    R.I.P ‘Bad Young Brother’

  14. derek was complaining of being short of breath since friday, he had a cold previously I told him to go to the doctors he didnt want to go.
    on the saturday he said he was ok and sunday when I went over he was in a bad way.
    I dont think there was anything else.

    my hun love you forever

  15. Proper liked and respected Derek. We worked together for a couple of years @ Faces in Gants Hill, still have some mental pictures of us together, done for a publicity thing at the club. RIP Brother, too many going these days. Anyone know about the funeral details?

  16. First the father of Bentleys, Froggy and now the son, Derek Boland. He played some great music at Bentleys, which was such a special club at that time.

    My condolences to his family, but he left us with such a rich legacy of how to appreciate good music.

    Gone but not forgotten!


  17. okay i just mentioned that there was no mention of it on the bbc website and they got back to me in ten minutes… i just done a short interview detailing how important he was to the development of hip hop music in uk mainstream terms…
    they wanted to validate the circumstances.. of his passing lisa.. i used what i learned from here…. if i was wrong .. i apologize.. but i felt he HAD TO GET MENTIONED TODAY!!!
    and i have way of getting hold of anyone close to him other than on here…
    bbc website should run a little somthing on him today .. i hope….
    peace.. TY

  18. Really sad news, I lived with Derek and his now ex wife, Rebecca for a while in the 90’s…fond memories.

    Love and condolences to his girlfriend Lisa, his mum and family and friends..xx

  19. This is shocking news RIP Derek B east london’s finest Influenced a nation,one of yhe best dj’s ever ever ..Bentley’s Zero Gravity & The WAG..Condolences to the Boland family..May your soul rest in peace….Bad Young Brother

  20. What sad sad news ……I used to cut his hair in south woodford George lane E18..such great memories of him always smiling…REST IN PEACE fella xx

  21. My Dear Friend Derek,
    I am so sad and shocked as many people will be, of you being taken from the world so suddenly and far to soon. Looking at the Bad young Brother video with me in it ,made me smile in this awful time.
    Always were and will be special to my heart,
    Your Pretty!!!

  22. A HUMBLE LEGEND!!! A pleasure to have known, worked and toured with Derek back in the golden era of Hip Hop.

    I just remember he produced ‘Bad Girls’, a track on our first album. He was big people to us even back then 🙂

    Thoughts going out to all his family


  23. thank you so much it is helping me reading these blogs and its great for all the tributes to read of how much he was respected.

  24. Sorry to hear about Derek’s passing-met him in Toronto via his uncle Andre whom i work with-a true gentleman and a pleasure to be around during his brief stay-my condolences and deepest sympathies to his family and friends.May God Bless.





  26. I worked with Del on many tracks as an artist. He was my co writer and producer. His energy was incredible and attention detail amazing. We once spent 2 days just listening to bass drums to get it right. I would wake Del up in his place in Woodford and his mum would cook us a Jamaican breakfast before we went to Konk studios in North London back in 94′. I felt that his musical ears should have been used in the industry to better use in the past few years. He would have made far better decisions than a lot of A&R today. I saw Del a year ago and felt down that he wasn’t involved enough in the industry. I miss him already. God Bless you Derek.
    Martin Bell x

  27. Many happy days in East London…..and beyond. Always time for a chat and a smile. We only just reconnected on Facebook last month after years of losing touch… husband and I were only saying last week ‘Derek B’s back in our life’……and hearing this sad news is shocking. Memories. Our condolences to Lisa (just read your messages on here) and the Boland Family. RIP Derek B.

  28. Had the pleasure of playing some wicked dances in the 80’s, around East London
    True legend from ….Miami Soul Beat Crew
    Condolences to the family.

  29. I first met Derek at Infants school and even then you could tell that he was going to go far! I have so many fond memories of nights out, partying and clubbing with the our friends, in and around Woodford. We were even neighbours at one point, but after I moved had not seen him for a while. I will miss you Derek you were ONE IN A BILLION !! My thoughts go out to Lisa and all of the Boland family. R.I.P

  30. Does anybody know any funeral details as a few people in the industry have asked and Would like to pay their respects

  31. Derek you gone to soon….. a real lovely guy, legend

    Lord, I ask you to be with the family, give them the strength to help them get through this sad lost. Let them know you are there with them through this difficult time

    God bless, prayers and love to you and condolences to your Family.. You will be truly missed Thank you for the memories, Friend. R.I.P

    Sandra E & Debbie Sealy xx

  32. Derek’s Uncle Andre from Mississauga Ontario Canada

    I am very, very saddened by this news – am just waiting to wakeup and find out this was all a bad dream.

    Last year when he visited all he wanted to do was play all-fours (card game) after we watched movies. I told him all-fours one on one was no fun but we played anyways.

    He also couldn’t wait for me to come home from work – so I could take him to my regular watering hole for beer, pool, wings and poker – as usual he knew all the regulars at the bar after two visits.

    He will always remain by little brother and his sayings will oscillate in our household and our hearts forever – “Are you with-me!!” – “Yur Good!!”

    Thank very much to all for these condolences.

    Debbie, Andre and Justin

  33. my condolences to Derek’s family and friends,his music inspired me to be a dj, he was a dj ahead of his time,and will always be remembered, as one of UK’s best dj

  34. Derek and I lived together for 4 years and we had a crazy time together..even got hitched and crashed Jennys car on the way to the register office.. ohhh, the mad days.. we had fun and it ended in a car crash way.. I remember him laughing…he was a bad young brother!!!! xxRebecca de Ruvo

  35. I have only just heard this heartbreaking news today and I am totally in shock. I am a old girlfiriend of Derek’s and spent 5 crazy years with him. He was a true Gent and a little bonkers, But boy was he infectous and had a smile that would brighten anyones day!! Derek will always of been a major part of my life and we stayed in touch by facebook and he was always wishing me and my family well, In fact it was only saturday afternoon when i heared from him last, He was wishing my daughter well as she was poorly. I would love to attend his funeral to pay my last respects to him and give his gorgeous mother Jen a big hug. My thoughts go out to his girlfriend Lisa, I can only imagine what you are going through, Just remember Derek will always be with u and looking down and protecting you. Please please let me know of the funeral details. All my love kelly xxxx

  36. Fond memories of the 80’s when you were the DJ at our club Bentleys. R.I.P our Friend. Mark H and Jane.
    Details of the funeral arrang would be appreciated if anyone knows.

  37. Rest In Peace Derek. Don’t quite have the words yet mate.
    Loss of our legend springs to mind.
    One of the saddest days of my life.

    For all those asking for funeral details.
    St Marys Church, South Woodford, December 2nd
    I’ll post more details as it comes…

    Linden C

  38. Only just heard. We used to play five a side down at Latimer Road and hang out when Del came up to the TV festival in Edinburgh. A really sound bloke, always smiling and strong shoulder to shoulder company. Tremendously sorry for your loss. Top, top, bloke.

    Rest in Peace Derek, you will be missed.

  39. Thanks Linden,
    Mark wanted to call Dereks Mum to pass on condolencies but we have no contacts after all these years, I guess he will see her at the funeral.
    Sincere condolencies to Lisa and all the family. We hope to meet up and come along to the funeral and would really appreciate you letting us know the time once arrangements have been made.
    Jane and Mark H.

  40. Only just found out of derrick b’s death.Very sad.I was only fifteen rapping in my room along with the legend.Sincere condolencies to his family.Far to young to pass away.R.I.P.

    Johnny mac.


    DECEMBER 3RD, 2009



  42. It is his mum’s (Jen’s) wishes that the funeral arrangements are not posted on the interent.

    Many Thanks

  43. What a shock!
    My thoughts are with Jenny, such a strong love between mother & son.
    He touched so many with his love and so sad to be gone. He will live on in so many people’s hearts.
    Be at peace bro’, will love you always, Conrad

  44. Derek B…
    ” Are you with-me!!”
    “Yur Good!!”
    I am not GOOD Derek why now, you was suppose to come back to Canada. He had so much fun with all his cousin in Canada.Some he knew and some he never met before.
    He was my oldest son- My Baby- My Love- MY World such a shock to my world.
    I am Derek’s Aunty Joe from Canada just THANKING YOU ALL for your lovely condolences.
    He will always remain my baby – “Are you with-me Derek !!” –
    I am Not Good “Yur Good!!”

    Aunty Jo (as he will say)

  45. Just found out listening to early morning Radio 1. Very sad news. I used to see Derek B around Ladbroke Grove/Latimer Road when I lived there in the early nineties. He always used to smile and say hi. He seemed like a true gentleman. So sorry for your loss.

  46. i met derek boland on 10 may 1980, the day west ham won the f a cup, at olivers nightclub in leytonstone.the place had a regular crowd which derek wasn’t part of,and he was on his own that night! i was givin it some to teena marie’s”behind the groove” when i spotted derek(or “REG” as we one day decided to call ourselves!) dressed from head to toe,identically to me;levis denim jkt,stripey t,jeans and black suede espadrilles from griffins in ilford.he spotted me,we laughed,shook hands,and became close friends for the next six ran through dereks viens,as it does mine.but derek was on a mission from the start.he was born to create something.listening and playing other peoples music was never enough for him.i felt that.what about the memories? decorating his bedsit in sth woodford;doing re-edits in his bedroom on a cassette deck using the pause button!;the hippodrome on opening week in ’84 both dressed in full tuxedoes;in bow snooker hall til 5am;his truly awesome jacko megamix at bentleys in ’84; meeting his gorgeous mum jenny and witnessing just how much they idolised each other;selling my ENTIRE vynil collection to him for 50 quid! ;dedicating the jacksons”give it up”to me on his first radio broadcast,which i still play to this day in my own set. we lost touch from’86 onwards,but in ’88 i saw the 12″ of “bad young brother” hanging in our price records window in ilford and thought “he’s only gone and done it!”.i am privilaged to have known del,his friendship will never leave heart is with his mum,his family and friends at this sad time, GOODNIGHT REG love always,john.

  47. MOJO Magazine plan to run an Obituary on Derek in their next issue and would love to speak to someone close to Derek about writing about his musical life.

    It’s an honour that MOJO Magazine wishes to salute Derek.

    Please get in touch if anyone would be interested in doing this for Mojo.



  48. Chilli Palmer,
    Its been over a week now since the terrible shock of your loss and I still can’t believe that its true.
    For those of us who knew you and stayed close to you, you’ll be missed in so many ways.
    Your passionate creativity, wonderfully twisted sense of humour and childlike enthusiasm – yet brilliant vision – for wanting to make new things happen are just some of the things that, with you, have been taken far, far too soon.
    May your soul now be at rest and your star shine as brightly as the character you always were and, to us, will always be.
    We’ll miss you Chilli Palmer.
    With love always,
    Baldrick xxx

  49. It’s only when someone of the DJ calibre of Derek B. passes which is very sad, that we realize how much a trail blazer he was. I have never known a DJ that could keep the crowd rocking like from start to finish when D.B. got on the decks back in the day.

    Derek B was a DJ that you wanted him to stay on because gave a certain type of energy & vibe, that kept you thinking what will he put on next to keep “Good Groove flowing. When he came off from the decks the other DJ was under a lot of pressure to keep the “Good Groove” rolling.
    Back then if we 5 places to chose from, if D.B. is playing it was a no brainer and you wanted to get there then haggle through the crowd to get inside fast, without causing too much grief.

    It’s true the music industry in the UK, have lost a GREAT talent who never got to show his full potential. In my view the 80’s as a DJ he was so cutting edge that he was ahead of the cut!!
    When I just think of Bentley’s on Sundays and those great on-off parties in some of those big Victorian houses with high ceilings etc, playing on Norman Jay’s Good Times Sound System at carnival (80’s) only fill me and who were there with smiles and we all felt glad to be alive enjoying the moment, and never thinking for minute that one day D.B. would leave us.

    We know times have changed but how many rappers have the dual talent, I don’t think any of them could play like Derek B.
    What an era, what a DJ

    My condolences go out to all his family, both near and far and the friends and fans that will truly miss a great UK DJ/Rapper legend.

    Your mother must have been a blessed woman who brought a son into this world who gave a lot of joy to many. May god give you all the strength and support at this time.

    Glen Manning N.W. London.

  50. derek I truly miss you, today has been the hardest day of my life.
    I am glad now you are in a safe place.
    love always
    Lisa xxxx

  51. Lisa PLEASE try to contact Derek’s Mom she will like to speak to you.
    I am so sorry we did not get to meet you while we were there.

    Jo-Ann B (Derek’s 2nd Mom in Toronto)

  52. “In the history books’ rap hall of fame
    The next three generations will remember my name.”

    Derek B – Get Down

  53. There was so much more that we needed to do… Well… I guess this way you can help me more than ever… I thank you so much for all you’ve done for me, for all you’ve done for hip hop and for making’ our family very proud. You were the older brother that I never had. I dedicate my project to you. I love you, cuz…

    Joel Boland (Mister, Mister)

  54. Another Angel taken to make tunes in Heaven – We will all miss you Derek…

    Loads of love to all the family from:

    Clive and Andrew – When In Rome

  55. Jo Ihave spoken to dereks mum I am really sorry I didnt meet you
    It would of been to much to handle every day is harder not
    Hopefully we might meet again!!!!

    take care and thank you xx

  56. THANK you Lisa for contacting D’s Mom.
    I am so sorry I did not meet you either,I am not sure of a next time, your country have too much snow and you all don’t know how to handle it.(smile) We know how to in Canada we still go to work ,school and play life goes on in Canada with all types of weather(smile)
    Please don’t be sad D was SPECIAL and you were the one picked to be with him at that last moment we all wish we were, BUT you got the postion /spot/call/or what ever. I wish it was me but you Lisa got it.
    Just cherish you time with him and be HAPPY .
    LOVE Jo

  57. yes your right thank you for that. its his birthday on friday this time last year we sat in the sky tower in auckland and we had so much fun.
    he had his suit on and everybody thought he was a famous footballer we laughed so much he loved the attention!!!!
    I am going to remember that night .
    He certainly loved canada and he always talked of living there.
    I am glad I got to be with him that day its 2 months today and it feels like yesterday.
    I hope we meet one day Jo I read these blogs and they have helped me
    love to his family and Jenny xxx

  58. 2 days to go and you would of been 45 I hope your celebrating in good place xxxx always and forever in my heart xxxxxxx

  59. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Del, Thinking of u especially today. Still gutted, Just knowing u are not out there anymore. All my Love Kel xx

  60. babe its your birthday today i love and miss you so much.
    i keep thinking your going to phone. i miss the calls your voice and laughter.
    I am glad we were together and I will never forget you
    lots of love today xxxx

  61. I KNOW YOU ARE HAPPY TODAY with your GRAND FATHER, GRAND MOTHER & AUNTY JEAN.Don’t worry I will join you soon.


  62. derek i was talking to you and all the lights went out it was the strangest feeling of my life i felt you were there and i really was a funny feeling
    i live in hope that was you thinking of you every minute xxxx

  63. derek I cannot believe your gone I would give anything to have you back in my life and I just want you to walk back in that door asking for your breakfast!!!!!

  64. Happy valentines day for tomorrow I want to pay tribute to you on here
    as facebook lots of hurtful things are going on. You were and are a truly special person and I miss you very much. I didnt know you when you were famous only as derek boland. I am glad for that because you knew I liked you for you and nothing else. Life can be very cruel but I do believe you are now in a special place. I also know your spirit is around I love you very much. lots of love xx

  65. Derek went to see your mum she is a lovely woman and she is so proud of yu It was a good comfort to meet her we are going to church on Sunday just want to tell yu that yu are very special x

  66. Derek every Sunday is harder then any other day I miss our time together I really hope we will be together again one day love you very much x

  67. my best wishes are with you Lisa….i always see your posts as they are updated….Still cant believe it has happened and the people i see cant either ((((((((())))))))) be strong sweetheart… know del would of wanted you to be strong….thinking of you xx

  68. thanks so much for the message I cannot believe it and i just think he is on holiday !!! I miss him so much I know he had lots of friends and other girlfriends but I have a lot of respect for him and he taught me quite alot.
    He always said you should make the best of yourself he wouldnt want me to get down. I am just glad I was there to hold his hand and that he called me
    that day I will never forget as long as I live.
    Iam sure he is looking down and having a chuckle. His smile brightened every bodys life!!! once again thanks for your message as putting things on here make me feel better.
    take care xxx Miss you forever derek

  69. Yes Lisa he LOVE his sweet.
    Thanks for keeping his spirit alive. I hope you are living on and not just grieving he will hate that, so darling you must Live not just grieve he will hate that.
    LOVE Aunty Joe

  70. Don’t worry aunty joe, iam good I get some bad days I get through ad jenny rings a lot and that helps ! Iam glad she is taking a break ! Tonight dereks film is on king kong we watched that film 4 times together ! To see it on tonight made me think his spirit is around take care and happy Easter xxxx

  71. That’s good to know you are okay.As he will say
    “YUH GOOD?- Or -Are you with-me!!- Or Are you alright” All his words . Just let him know you are good and with him in spirit. He’s in a better place now, he was finish hear and have gone his MERRY WAY and is watching over all of us and smiling. I have some terrible days myself but I keep my chin up and move on and hope my day will be as quick as his and not any long suffering when my time come.
    HAPPY EASTER my Dear xxxxxxx
    LOVE Aunty Joe

  72. your right and you know I had a strange feeling this morning he was here I walked in my bedroom and I could smell aftershave it wasnt till I was thinking about him I realised it was the aftershave he wore. I dont know if you imagine these things or just hope!!! anyway I have his bear that he gave me in newzealand and we called it baby derek and we did laugh about it, when he used to ring me he used to ask me how baby derek was it was his humour that made me laugh and the silly side to him that he had
    he really wanted children and he talked a lot about kids and his family.
    Hopefully now he has his family in heaven and they are looking after him
    a big hug and kiss to you and its nice you left the message It really is nice to talk to you thanks again. xx

  73. I think about you every second of every day I miss yu very much, I love you more than ever. I talk to you every day I hope you are listening xxx

  74. just spoke to your mum she is back from new york and she sounds great.
    i have got a photo album to give to her of your last birthday in nz
    thinking of you.

  75. Around 1987-88 my friends and I opened for Derek B. in Cambridge. We had a ball and Derek rocked the house. Rest In Peace brother.

  76. Hi lisa, I was so shocked to hear of derek passing away – I only found out a month or so ago. Derek was my first boyfriend. We met at the age of 13 and went out together for severa years on and off but u know once u have met derek u will never forget him. I am going through a lot of pain as well as I lost my beautiful daughter to meningitis last July – she was 14 years old and the most precious thing in my life. When I read yr messages I know what u r going throug as I hve 2 live with that stomach churning thoughts every day. God bless 2 you and pls send my love 2 Jen. Lov vicsx

  77. Iam very sorry about the pain you are feeling, derek was infectious to everybody he met. I cab only thank god I was there to hold his hand it’s a day I will never forget as long as I live!!! I just want to be with him. I sleep with his bear and clothes everynight and pillow !!! I talk to him like a crazy women !!!! Iam sure you do the same about your daughter and iam sure she is with you every second of every day I miss him every day and Sundays are so painful. Today like most Sundays I sit outside the hospital and put a rose it gets me through. I hope you are ok and you have good friends derek and your daughter will be watching over us lots of love and thanks for the kind message xxxx

  78. You are very special in everybodys lives never forgotten I wish I could make that tea for you and run that bath xxxxx

  79. Hi lisa, I sleep with lucie’s sweatshirt and her teddie toffie every night. How weird we both do the same things! I am lucky in that I hve a lot of good friends but hey it still really hurts. I live in Surrey now but if ever u feel like a chat and a cry I am prepared to travel. U r very brave in going back 2 the hospital 4 me I hate the hospital and staff as I don’t beleive they did what they cld in trying 2save her. Lots of luv vx

  80. Yes they have a terrible smell about them I just sit outside !!!! I guess you feel closer to them derek would of loved the England game tonight yu could just imagine him shouting at them! I go to Surrey quite alot it would be great to chatt take care and thanks xxxxx

  81. Hi Lisa,

    I am missing Derek too especailly …..just as you said with the England game going on yesterday I have his photo next to my television….so I know that he was looking at the game with my family and I.

    Be happy…because D was a happy lad..a bit crazy at times…but a VERY LOVELY person.

  82. Your right he was lovely person he would of told the England team that’s for sure xxx

  83. Hun just went past katies house I miss yu so much love yu forever I am very sad my heart is wrenched x

  84. its the fair at brians today this time last year you were there munching on hot dogs!!! brian is missing you very much and so am I. xxx

  85. it was my birthday today and thought about you all day I miss you very much.
    wish you were here.

  86. get a grip where you with him when he died I think not !!!!!
    you get a grip and leave me a lone! do you know what its like to see someone die in front of your eyes if its my way of dealing with it then so be it>
    what do you know nothing

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November 2009
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