As the Premier League kicks off its 2023/24 season, professional-footballer-cum-enigmatic-rapper Dide talks dressing room antics, his daily DMs and possessing a natural rap prowess.

There’s nothing mysterious about being a Premier League footballer. With reputations that stem further than the pitch, nowadays, players deal with a celebrity-like status, constantly under fire from fans and scrutinised by the media. Rarely does a day go by where the tabloid pages aren’t consumed by their private lives.  


Dide, the cryptic rapper claiming to be a Premier League star, bucks this trend. Unconcerned with the superficial tropes defining many footballers’ lives, the anonymous wordsmith has created quite the buzz since bursting onto the scene earlier this year. Yes, part of the hype stems from his facelessness – Wilfred Zaha, Son Heun-Min and Harry Maguire are just a few names currently on the rumour mill – but fans are genuinely surprised by his quick-witted bars and potent storytelling. 


Music and football have become increasingly intertwined, especially since UK rap’s swift ascent at the turn of the decade. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a freestyle without a football-related one-liner. Popularised by the likes of Dave, Headie One and CASisDEAD, the trend has made the scene more competitive, as emcees battle out to find the most niche and poetically delivered puns possible.  

Although references to Briain’s beloved sport creep into his music, Dide’s productions have proven to be far more intricate. Breakout single “Thrill” garnered more than two million views in two months. Diving into the emotional turmoil that comes with reaching global notoriety, the track’s soul-bearing nature is an antithesis to the machismo you often see on footy pitches and hear in UK rap songs. 


Nevertheless, follow-up single “Derby Day” directly confronts the mystery behind the mask. Accompanied by crisp visuals, the track keeps fans guessing, dropping lyrical red herrings while underscoring his enigmatic identity in the video. 


As the football world eagerly waits on his true identity, here, rising rapper Dide talks dressing room antics, his daily DMs and possessing a natural rap prowess. Tap in below.


For someone who’s only been rapping for one-two years, you’ve developed a skilled flow and a knack for storytelling. What do you think allowed you to do this so quickly?

I’m not quite sure, I never anticipated for this to happen or for it to be so natural for me. I guess as footballers we all go on crazy journeys and never really get to tell the stories in our own words, so I think the music allows me to do that.

Who were some of your favourite rappers growing up?

I’ve always been a music fan. My favourite rapper changes depending on my mood but it was mainly Kanye West growing up.

It’s been five months since you released “Thrill”, your breakout single. Reflecting on the moment, how has your life been since?

It’s been pretty similar. Loads of people are still asking, ‘Who is Dide?’ I get DMs daily about it, which is funny. I didn’t anticipate having such a buzz but I did know that the music would touch at least a few people. The beat was nice and the message behind it was powerful, so it was always going to create interest.

Let’s talk about “Derby Day”, it’s a great follow to your debut single. What is it about the intensity of a rivalry that makes it so fervent for a song?

I think, when we play football, it’s all about the joy it brings and the adrenaline it gives you when competing with the other teams and players. There’s always that drive to win. There’s no bigger game than a Derby Day game, so I think the song resembles that pretty well.

The music video explores the speculation surrounding your enigmatic identity. Why did you want to be so front facing with this subject matter?

There’s been a lot of speculation about who is behind the mask. Of course, people have their assumptions and I think it would be silly to ignore it because I want the fans to feel engaged. This was another way of doing that.

Do you think there could ever be a time where the mask comes off? The likes of K-Trap and Kwengface have done so previously…

You never know. It’s not something I’ve really thought about. We will have to see!

You’ve mentioned previously that anonymity has given you more freedom in front of the mic. Can you explain more as to why?

The mask allows me to speak freely without any bias. I’m not speaking because I play for a certain team, instead, it’s just so the fans can hear the music and really appreciate the message behind it. Equally, it allows me to separate both football and music.

Roses feature on both your mask and in your logo. What does the flower symbolise for you?

I’ve always liked the symbol of a rose, which to me resembles love and desire. It’s always evolving and that’s what I want Dide to represent in the music.

Aside from your own tracks, what other songs are doing well in the dressing room currently?

Most of the boys have Afro-type songs on at the moment. There’s been a real trend in that genre recently.

With a larger project rumoured to be on the horizon, have you started its recording process? Can you give us any insight into how it sounds and how the creative process is going?

Yes. I’ve already recorded some new music. As you will hear when it comes out, it’s all been created over the last few months. I feel like it’ll give fans a wider scope into Dide and the lifestyle he’s living. I’m really excited for you all to hear it.

What’s next for Dide? Do you ever see an instance where your separate lives could intertwine?

I will be dropping a project real soon so stay tuned for that! In terms of separate lives intertwining, I don’t think so. Football is my love and always will be. Music is just an extension of who I am and I think both will compliment not only my life but hopefully inspire many others along the way.

Watch the video for "Derby Day" below:


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