I have a question for you; has white rap phenomenon Eminem ever worked with cockney good time boys Chas ‘n’ Dave? The answer is surprisingly yes, well technically anyway. His breakthrough single from 1999, “My Name Is” features a sample from Labi Siffre‘s 1975 song “I Got The…”. So what I can hear you say, well two of the session musicians on Labi’s song were none other than the yet to be famous Charles Nicholas Hodges and David Victor Peacock,. The pair are better known now as Chas ‘n’ Dave. So there you have it, in a roundabout way Mr Mathers has worked with Chas ‘n’ Dave. It’s not exactly Eminem rapping in cockney rhyming slang though is it? But there’s a thought!
Eminem did have to change the lyrics before Labi Siffre gave him permission to use the sample, he also gets a co-writing credit on the track. Siffre is openly gay and was concerned that Eminem was being violent and homophobic in his lyrics. Incidentally fact fans did you know that Labi Siffre wrote and had his own hit with “It Must Be Love” a song later covered and made even more famous by Madness? Well he did, that was way back in 1972. I also used the lyrics from that song in my rather long wedding speech at my marriage to the delightful and beautiful Catwoman last September. Anyway enough of that it’s time for you to enjoy some Labi Siffre and Eminem.