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The Masterplan Crew originated from the golden age of hip hop, an era that encouraged originality, experimentation and political commentary. With musical sparks flying, their influence spanned a full decade, from 1988-1998. The crew’s parties, radio shows and underground grooves were legendary, and the talented team comprised of some of Leicester’s finest MC’s, producers and DJ’s of the time.

The crew’s original line up – a combination of Black, white and Asian members – included DJ Yess, Fader Crusader, DJ Tuff G, Dope MC, D Crime and Rock CD.  With self-confessed hip hop guru DJ Yess at the helm, one of the crew’s first big outings was The Halloween Masterplan Massacre Party in 1988.  The crew brought the house down and started making hip hop history locally.  Around this time, Masterplan did their first radio show, on Fresh FM – riding the airwaves with a serious repertoire of beats and rhymes, and an infectious sense of humour. Their slot on Fresh FM won a loyal following and ran for the duration of their reign as local hip hop heroes.  In 1990, female member Rock CD left and the crew were soon joined by DJ Deany D.

A record deal with Ruff Justice Records rewarded DJ Yess and D Crime’s hard work and the 1992 release, ‘Time for Action,’ earned them national recognition and critical acclaim.  The track was played by Normski on BBC TV and entered the top twenty in the Black Echoes Magazine hip hop chart.  Two more similarly successful releases followed – ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop the Plan’ and ‘Keep it Underground’. 

By 1996, DJ Yess and D Crime’s Masterplan slot on Fresh FM was ranked number four UK radio show of its genre in a Hip Hop Connection Magazine poll. “We had thousands of listeners,” says DJ Yess. “Lots of people tell me that it was their favourite Fresh FM show and that they still have tape recordings of it. They tell me they were educated on hip hop while listening to it.”

Today, DJ Yess and D Crime are the two remaining musically active members of Masterplan. Since they disbanded, D Crime has continued to work as a DJ. Leicester-born DJ Yess has gone onto collaborate with many artists as a producer. He currently teaches music technology courses and is working on an MA, exploring the characteristics of hip hop. His aspirations are to continue production work with new and upcoming artists, as well as to publish writings on the hip hop techniques that made his name and reputation.


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