MC Codebreaker Calls It Quits


Active Member
Dec 30, 2010
I know i'm a bit late here; this happened back at the end of July, but I completely missed it

I'm sad to see the guy go, was a huge fan. But I can't say I blame him at this point.

CODE:Breaker said:
I said a few weeks back i'd explain some of my reasons for walking away from D&B. I initially figured i’d get all my gigs out of the way, but I don’t really see what difference it will make, and I feel compelled to type this right now. The easiest and simplest answer is that i'm just not that interested in pursuing it anymore. The complicated answer is probably a bit of a read, so bear with me.

For a while now, my options in this business have been becoming more and more limited, the gigs harder and harder to get. The bookings I do get, i've been finding myself being edged towards becoming more of a minimal host/hypeman and thats just not my bag. It's my personal opinion obviously, but I tire of the minimal host thing, i've heard it a million times, it's so plain and generic to me. On the flip of that, I cant stand shouting (and I sound shit at it anyway) so I also struggle to enjoy those shows where i'm having to be a hypeman.

I have no desire to tone down my craft to make up the numbers. I like it complicated, I like it deep and super technical, with meaning. If you've listened to any of my podcasts or tracks you'll know that about me. Unfortunately for me, there's not a massive appetite for that in this scene, which I can understand somewhat, it's a pretty nichey thing attacking this music as a rapper or poet, there are literally only a handful of us (of a proper standard) compared to the more stripped down MC's (I need to big up DRS at this point, he seems to be the only guy who's successfully pulled this off, so big up Del!)

Another reason is the financial side of the business. Yeah, I know, do it for the love Breaker etc etc.. Well, I'm 35 now, and i've been doing it for the love since I was 14. I accept there are well known names who've been doing it longer, but the way I see it, 20+ years is a pretty decent stretch. Jungle/D&B has been my obsession since I was a kid, but my reality is the same as everyone’s ultimately, we all need to eat. I have a family, i'm a father now, and the truth is that travelling around the country or europe for a few hundred quid is not really viable for me anymore. I miss my son when i'm away and it's not as if i'm returning with pots of gold! Younger guys can do it (often for way less pay), and so do it in their droves - and again, many promoters are happy for that. I can understand it. It often just comes down to finances. Top DJ's command quite a fee these days, MC's are often left to last in the budget and the pay available reflects that. I cant really get too annoyed about that, its a DJ led scene after all. It's the way it is.

Which brings me to my next reason. I've never been entirely comfortable with being a 'sidearm'. I hooked up with the Black Sun Empire boys a while back, and they asked me to be their MC wherever possible. Obviously I accepted - who wouldn't - and I want to thank them for that, but the reality is that their agent has to strongarm me onto lineups, and this simply doesn't sit well with me. I know a lot of MC's ply their trade like this, it's an accepted thing - book Dj X, you must take MC Y. But to me, turning up at an event I know the promoter didn't really want you at is not exactly satisfying. Again, its how the business works. Many are cool with that. I'm not.

Unfortunately too, recording 'stripes' dont seem to carry the clout for MC's that they do for DJ's. In my time, i've amassed releases on a very good range of the top labels - Moving Shadow, True Playaz, RAM, Metalheadz, Dispatch, Blackout, Critical, Subtitles, Formation, Symmetry ++. Now, maybe i've got my history wrong, but I dont know of another MC that has done the same (okay yeah, DRS!). I’m not claiming I had the biggest tunes, but the consistency is there in plain view. Yet that seems to have little value when it comes to working on the scene. If I were a DJ with that back catalogue, I dont think its foolish to suggest i'd have a whole lot more in this business. For what it's worth, currently, Gridlok is making a tune with vocals I gave him a while back, so is Audio. What i'm saying is, i've got myself to a point where a lot of hugely respected producers want my vocals and yet essentially I dont get much back. Which I wont lie, is disappointing, and thats not aimed at the producers, again, it's just the way the game works.

Sometimes in a way, I feel i've been defeated by time. It's not a secret I didnt really get my shit together until my 30's. I think if I had trod the boards when I was 23 or 24 at the level I managed to get to later on, I may have found myself being a bigger force. What you gonna do... we live and learn. Thats my own fault, and I accept it. In those days I was too busy getting drunk, playing football, not working hard enough, spreading myself too thin.

Being an MC is a hustlers life, there's no doubt. Unless you are a 'made man' and have 'ins' at major labels/events, it's incredibly difficult to earn a decent living out of it. And it's not necessarily based on talent. I dont think there’s anything new in that. I may have my own opinions about the credibility or motives of others around me, but the truth is, life is just like that. This relatively little music scene of ours just echoes it.

To those who say to me “you’ll be back” - I’m not foolish enough to say concretely that i’ll definitely never return in some form. God knows, this music is like crack, it has a huge power to drag you back in. At the moment though, it looks unlikely. There are a few ways in which it could possibly happen, but we’ll see what the future brings. It’s not at the forefront of my thoughts right now. If I can manifest something that means I have more control, more realistic long term aims, and be more than just a mercenary gun for hire - then maybe.. ;)

So.... I'll end by saying this. I'll always love this music. It's roots run deep in me. I was there in the 90's when it all kicked off, and it changed my life forever. I'm proud of my achievements and the part I have played in it. I think the teenage me would be stoked if he could look into the future and see the things he'd done. There's no bitterness, I have other challenges to attack now and im doing so with an open mind. I've met a truckload of inspiring people over the years, and even got to know some of my musical heroes, and for that i'm grateful. I also need to big up everyone who has supported me. Truly. Sometimes I would get a message from one of you, or chat to someone at a show that would make me beam with pride that you understood what I was doing and it meant something to you. On more than a few occasions, someone has messaged me saying my music has had a deep impact on their life, or helped them through bad times.

No money can replace that.
Thats a shame, he always stood out amongst all the other dnb mc's. Although I always thought he would have been better suited to being a hip hop mc?

Good luck to him anyway.
Ah fack I missed this too! He was a nice guy too, played at my night down here with Xtrah once and was a great addition to the lineup. Sad to see this to be honest :(
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