Whenever Dappy pops up, which seems to be pretty frequently in the tabloids, a whole range of negative collocations are dragged up and thrown his way.
This isn’t entirely unfounded, from the notorious text-threat incident while fronting a government anti-bullying campaign to pleading guilty to two counts of assault in 2008, it’s clear that this modern breed of R&B star isn’t quite your model citizen.
But hold your horses, because if you choose to suspend the perception of Dappy the pantomime villain, built up from an oddly unsettled form of Chavism in the mainstream media, there’s another story to be told.
N-Dubz, Dappy’s former band, went from being complete unknowns to selling over a million records and signing to Def Jam Records.
Throughout this success however, some of their recurring motifs have been tributes to friends, the value of family and the trials and tribulations of inner city life.
All of this seems to have struck a chord with their legion of young fans, and so here in 2012, in the wake of N-Dubz’s split, the members find themselves in a not unmerited position to pursue solo careers in the wake of their previous successes.
How then does Dappy choose to use his considerable platform in his first solo outing Bad Intentions?
Well, mostly through clumsily directed aggression and misogynistic bravado it would seem. With lyrics such as “I wanna smash her from the back … put them big red lips on my sack” and “You like to go to Gucci, pick up a hat just to try it”, it becomes increasingly hard to defend the street ambition of tracks such as No Regrets.
While it’s hard to deny the reckless enthusiasm and unabashed swagger on display, it’s a sad irony that the manner in which he delivers these characteristics, pervaded with a sense of derogatory confusion and aggressive insecurity, seems to be inextricably subsumed into his strange appeal to a generation of young fans who see a mould for success in messages like these.
No Regrets – are you sure about that, Dappy?