Stevie Hyper D - A mic man of true proportion who trail blazed a new era of MC culture in the jungle and drum and bass scenes. From his distinctive lyrical delivery to his nonstop work rate, Hyper was at the forefront of many ravers minds when checking the latest flyers for their favourite artist. If Stevie was at the dance - you knew it was going to blow.
From early memories of legendary techno DJ Lenny Dee to his amazing partnership with Nicky Blackmarket throughout the mid 90's and beyond, Stevie Hyper D was certainly one to adapt to any form of underground dance music.
Take for example this set from Interdance in 1992. A full on acid techno onslaught on the senses that is complimented effortlessly by Stevie.
At this point in time it wasn't relevant to ride the rhythm for 64 bars, however, you certainly can sense the authority and presence of Hyper D throughout this set.
His ability to host this and other sets around this time were clearly evident and in some respects, quite comparable to MC Ribbz.
You may have forgotten that during this era of underground dance music things were propelling at an alarming rate. Music styles and BPM was changing as were peoples attitudes towards their personal preference due to the wider amount of choice. 1993 was thankfully still a time where DJs would cross over in the same arena. Jungle for an hour, hardcore for an hour and so on.
This wicked set from Elevation featuring none other than the Godfather of hardcore; Slipmatt complimented by MC MC and Hyper D demonstrates the era perfectly. Breakbeats, Amens, hardcore pianos and even some pitched up vocals!
Moving forwards, the partnership with Nicky Blackmarket was almost inseparable for years with Stevie appearing on all of his 1 In The Jungle broadcasts and pretty much every set up and down the UK in 1996 onward.
"He was causing mayhem everywhere he performed. This was around the time Stevie (god rest his soul) was coming to every dance with me. He would literally turn up and destroy the place.”
Nicky and Stevie to some, were the ultimate tag team. Combining a frantic tune selection and super fast paced lyrical delivery plus Stevie's utterly unique way in which he could hype the crowd.
Many still say to this day that the partnership between them has yet to be rivaled.
His style was so diverse that in fact during the Helter Skelter era it wasn't uncommon to hear Hyper D starting or finishing a set featuring a happy hardcore DJ. This was quite unique for a jungle MC at the time, especially as the 'great divide' mentality was still somewhat at the forefront of peoples minds.
Fearless and MC MC were probably the only other MCs that really grasped the whole hands in the air, whistles and horns vibe. Both MCs were also renowned for working alongside Stevie.
This set featuring the champion of the oily crossfader; Kenny Ken from Mach One is well know for the announcement following a reload of Vinyl Syndicate's 'Man of Steel'.
"Kenny Ken's asking me if I am ready. I was born ready!"
You cannot forget 1997 if you're writing an article such as this. A huge change in dynamics, both musically and for any self respecting MC. Led by Stevie, Skibadee, Shabba D and Det this, to some was known as the 'One Nation era'.
It came as no surprise that both Hyper D and Skibadee formed a close bond during this time and featured on many a set, bouncing off one another like never before.
2004 saw a huge event take place in memory of Stevie's passing and to celebrate the launch of the huge album 'The Legend: Stevie Hyper D'. A special speech was delivered by Hyper's Mum which can be heard at the start of Nicky Blackmarket's set.
The memories of Hyper D have never faded and it's highly unlikely they ever will. He made such an impact in the scene and changed the way we perceived the role of an MC. 21 years has flown by so here's to the next 21 of paying respect.
R.I.P Stephen Austin. 20 September 1967 to 5 July 1998. Maximum Respect.
Liked this? Check out Section 23's Stevie Hyper D playlist.
Photos of Stevie © Tristan O'Neill and other unknown sources.