FROM a harrowing deportation saga to a criminal heartache, rapper Dave has had a difficult and incredible journey to the top.
Tributes bizarrely poured in the musician’s memory yesterday after false rumors claimed he was stabbed to death on his birthday.
However, none of this was true, the Mercury Award winner was just another victim of a social media celebrity death hoax.
Santan Dave has not publicly commented on the rumors, but the singer’s reps have stated that he is not dead.
Since his “death” became known, Dave has been active on Twitter and Instagram, where he posted a selfie in front of a London bus.
The deception was just the latest in a long line of shocking events that have plagued the life of the Brixton rapper.
Here we take a look at the wild life of the 24-year-old.
The child was torn from the hands of the father
At just four months old, Dave was torn from the arms of his father, Frank, after he was deported due to visa issues.
The clergyman, who had previously volunteered at a London church, believed he entered the country on a missionary visa, but in fact had a visitor’s visa.
Frank was afraid to return to his homeland of Nigeria because his own father was killed by a religious cult.
But his asylum application was denied by Labor Home Secretary Jack Straw, and he was holding baby Dave in his arms when the police arrived to pick him up.
The rapper recalled this injury in “Psychodrama” where he said, “I have no memory of when dad was around… I used to cry for my dad until my fucking eyes burned.”
Mother Dorris faced a difficult choice but decided to stay in the UK because that’s where all three of her sons were born.
Despite being the youngest child, Dave needed to grow up fast and become “head of the house” after his siblings were imprisoned.
In 2013, Brother Christopher was given at least 18 years to life in prison for the brutal murder of Sophien Belamuadden.
The 15-year-old victim was beaten by a gang of 20 teenagers in front of passengers at Victoria Station in London.
Four years later, in 2017, Dave’s older brother Benjamin was jailed for fraud.
In the absence of his father and brothers and sisters, the future rapper had to take care of himself.
His hard-working mother was forced to work shifts from 5 am until late at night to keep the family afloat.
“It was hard for her and hard for me,” Dave previously told Kristen Bell Tattoos.
Mom’s disappointment after superstardom
When he was 16, Dave entered the sixth form of college in Richmond upon Thames to study philosophy, ethics, law and sound design.
He started releasing music on YouTube and soon found that his raps were gaining hundreds of thousands of views.
This success led to his mom’s disappointment because Dave abandoned plans to study law at university in favor of music.
He recalled: “When it comes time to tell your mom that you’re not going to university, which has been her grand plan for you for the past 18 years, suddenly 700,000 YouTube views mean absolutely nothing.”
Dave’s track Thiago Silva, named after the Brazilian football player of the same name, went viral when Dave invited a young fan named Alex Mann to perform it with him on stage at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival.
Even before he released his debut album, he received the Ivor Novello award for Best Contemporary Song in 2018 for the track “Question Time”, dealing with issues such as Syria and the Grenfell fire.
A year later, Dave won the Mercury Music Prize for his debut album, Psychodrama, and in 2020 won British Album of the Year at the Brit Awards.
“Killer worship” controversy
At the same time, the rapper caused controversy when he criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the song Black.
Dave was criticized for calling his murderous brother Christopher his “hero” and hailing him when he received his Mercury Music Prize.
The victim’s mother, Naina Gailan, said it was “disgusting” that the album won because it featured Dave’s brother’s voice in the form of a telephone conversation.
But that didn’t stop Psychodrama’s success after it went gold and spawned three top ten singles – Disaster, Streatham and Location.
The rapper’s fame led him to take up acting when he played ex-convict Modi in the British crime drama The Best Guy, which aired on Netflix.
And things didn’t stop there – Drake remixed one of Dave’s songs, which led to his performance on stage with the Canadian hitmaker.
Later, he managed to persuade the British grime king Stormzy, English football player Raheem Sterling and fashion designer Ozwald Boateng to star in the video for his track Black.
By 2020, in a bizarre collision of worlds, Dave collaborated with Sir David Attenborough on a special episode of the Planet Earth documentary series where he played piano alongside Hans Zimmer.
In March of this year, he released his second UK number one single with Starlight – four years after his previous Funky Friday in 2018.
Despite being only 24 years old, Dave’s wealth of experience has bonded him with fans, which in turn has led to chart success.