Out of all the great MCs from Saxon sound in the eighties, none became household names as much as Smiley Culture.
Indeed, as I pointed out in my Agit Disco piece, seeing Smiley on Top of the Pops was my first experience of UK MC culture.
But whilst the rest of the posse are fairly easy to track down, as they are still involved with music or community work, figuring out what Smiley Culture was up to was shrouded in mystery. Did he own a pub, an advertising agency? The rumours seemed to change year by year.
I wanted to know so I could satisfy my curiousity, and also because I wanted to track the guy down and interview him about his life.
Then this week, a double whammy of answers.
The Guardian was first, revealing that Smiley owned a diamond mine – oh and that the Queen used to play his tunes in Buckingham Palace!
Then, a rather less jolly tale. In an eerie echo of Buju Banton’s recent troubles, The Evening Standard revealed that David Emmanuel (aka Smiley Culture) had been charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine.
The case continues, so I guess it’s not prudent to write more at this stage.