It may come as a surprise for regular readers to see us featuring Dot Rotten in our Ones to Watch for 2012. After all this blog is hardly upfront when it comes to rap and grime. However, having expanded this list from the past previous ten to fifteen artists this year, it does give us the small opportunity to widen our net a little and put forward at least one act from a genre not featured heavily on the blog. Having said that, in terms of commercial rap music Rizzle Kicks regularly featured over the last year, the brassy ska-grooves of Down With The Trumpets being one of our favourite singles of 2011 with Breaking More Waves giving support by featuring the original demo of the track early on.
So this one to watch is a UK MC and you'll be pleased to read that all Eastenders references and jokes about his name have been left firmly at the gate.
Dot Rotten (real name Joseph Ellis) has been plugging away for a long time now. In fact way back in 2006 he was trading under the name Young Dot and released his debut mixtape This Is The Beginning. However his move from underground credibility to potential mainstream appeal really began at the start of this year. If you’ve heard Ed Sheeran’s excellent No.5 Collaborations EP ( at 8 tracks long it is virtually an album) which was released at the start of the year you’ll know that besides tracks with Wiley, Devlin and Random Inpulse one of the stand-out tracks was Rotten’s Goodbye To You; an intimate tribute to the loss of his nan and her strength. “I still think of you every Sunday, no one can top your chicken and rice, even through the darkest times you held us all up ‘cos your vision was bright, I knew your strength was your wisdom inside, you never let anyone see your heartache, you just got on with it,” he raps. It’s proud real-life stuff.
Now with a deal through Mercury Records, the sharp Normal Human Being making waves earlier this year, support slots with Chase & Status in the bag and a new single Keep It On A Low being released on December 11 it could be Dot Rotten’s time to step up with the UK rap big boys. On the strengths of Goodbye To You, the super slick Microphone (streaming below) and Keep It On A Low, we reckon he has a really good chance.Microphone by Dot Rotten