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Music / Dan Bull

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Daniel G. L. Bull (born 27 March 1986), also known as Dan Bull or "Douglby"note , is an independent English musician and YouTuber most well-known for his video game-themed hip-hop music. You can find his channel, where all of his songs are available, here.

He first attained notoriety on the Internet for his unusual stance on the Digital Piracy Is Evil debate: he actually supports filesharing software, and writes musical open letters to various English politicians and musicians on the other side of the debate. His first such letter, to musician and (in the vein of Metallica's Lars Ulrich) anti-piracy crusader Lily Allen, was linked on The Pirate Bay, Piratbyrån, and various other major filesharing sites and his popularity skyrocketed in a very unusual (but large!) demographic.

The strange part is that after he released his first complete album, Safe, on BitTorrent... the sales went up even further. That is correct: because he released the music for free download to anyone, more people bought it.

After the legislative farce that resulted in the passing of the Digital Economy Act, he wrote another letter... to English First Secretary of State Peter Mandelson, having subsequently campaigned against efforts to censor the internet in the interests of tackling dodgy porn sites (on the grounds that the reforms would do nothing, since criminals already go elsewhere).

You might also know him for both the pre- and post-reboot ending themes of Nerd³, or for his appearances on Epic Rap Battles of History as Jack the Ripper and Winston Churchill. Aside from this, he has a lesser-known gaming channel here.

His discography list is as follows:

    Studio albums 
  • Safe (2009)
  • Face (2011)
  • Generation Gaming (2013)
  • Generation Gaming II (2014)
  • The Garden (2014)
  • Generation Gaming III (2014)
  • Generation Gaming IV (2015)
  • Generation Gaming V (2015)
  • Generation Gaming VI (1493)
  • Generation Gaming VII (2015)
  • Bullmatic (2015)
  • Generation Gaming VIII (2015)
  • Brandy Night [alongside Beit Nun] (2015)
  • Generation Gaming IX (2015)
  • The Life of Pablo (2016) note 
  • Generation Gaming X (2016)
  • Generation Gaming XI (2016)
  • Hip Hop Hooray (2017)
  • Generation Gaming XII (2017)
  • Generation Gaming XIII (2017)
  • Generation Gaming XIV (2018)
  • Generation Gaming XV (2018)
  • Generation Gaming XVI (2018)
  • Generation Gaming XVII (2019)
  • Generation Gaming XVIII (2019)
  • Generation Gaming XIX (2019)
  • Generation Gaming XX: The Next Generation (2020)
  • Generation Gaming XXI: Rage Quit the Machine (2020)
  • Generation Gaming XXIII: Breakfast at Limmy's (2021)

Provides Examples Of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: The fisherman you play as in DREDGE is generally portrayed as a decent man with tragic Hidden Depths possessed of a keen interest in learning more about bargaining techniques. The crewmates in "I’m Heading Out (Of My Mind)" brag openly about being Straw Nihilist gaslighters that fish in dangerous waters to feast on aberrant undersea mutants and satisfy their bile fascination. They’re seem vaguely aware of the corruption under the sea and are taking the reveal with unhealthy gusto.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Appears throughout almost every bar of his Fallout 4 Special Rap, with each letter matching the letter of the associated S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stat (Strength uses "S", Perception uses "P", and so on).
    • He holds a very long one in the last verse of the "GTA V Epic Rap". Here's a snippet:
      Sinning with a seriously symbiotic synergy
      We're the three similarly sinister Gs
      Each sending the cinema screen into the cemetery
    • Also done in the "Dishonored 2 Epic Rap":
      Illumination with immolation
      Incineration and inhalation of the vapour's incapacitation
      I'm impudent indemnification's insolent incarnation
      Your argument just is invalidation
    • Again in the "Horizon Zero Dawn Epic Rap":
      Like Roman roads are eroded
      A ronin rode a rodeo
      Rewrote the rule; we rowed a rowboat
      Over rows of rapid river flows
  • Anti-Christmas Song: Downplayed with his "Non-Christmas Song", which mentions births, deaths, and events unrelated to Christmas that occurred in December 25.
  • Arc Words:
  • Battle Rapping: Has produced and took part in several Battle Rapping videos, including Epic Rap Battles of History.
  • Blatant Lies: "True Facts" is full of these, used for An Aesop about how one shouldn't trust everything one hears on the internet.
  • British Teeth: He has this in real life, and he actually made a rap about it, where he acknowledges (if not slightly exaggerates) the fact that his teeth isn't aesthetically pleasing, and that he doesn't really mind it at all.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Although Dan Bull isn't a stranger to profanities in his songs, the "Fuck Everything" song takes this up to eleven.
  • Creepy Cockroach: A number of them can be seen in the background of "Tune into the Madness", along with Messy Maggots and others, to create a gross and disturbing atmosphere.
  • Crossover:
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: The whole filesharing community loves this guy. A number of his music videos end with him listing areas where listeners can find the songs, often including The Pirate Bay.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Doom Eternal Rap, naturally. It's basically a spin on his old Creeper Rap.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: From the Faith vs Order rap:
    The only way that we can pull through is under cruel rule
    If a single person falls out of line, we all do.
  • Evil Is Hammy: When playing Jack the Ripper on Epic Rap Battles of History.
    • As well as playing Jack Baker in Home is Where the Hate Is.
  • Fan Disservice: Him taking his shirt off in "Dear Miley".
  • Foe Romance Subtext: The video for his Evil Genius 2 song "The Man with a Hand Instead of a Gun", featuring The Stupendium (who previously covered the game in their song "Fiend Like Me") as the Evil Genius, has the two of them in a wrestling sequence that looks like it might be... something else entirely.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Skeleton from its titular rap attacks humans because it's sick of having to wade around in water or wear a helmet to avoid bursting into flame during the day.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: His Frostpunk song has him rap that he believes the greed of humanity has angered the deity they depended on and has brought the frost down upon them.
  • Gaslighting: This segment of "I'm Heading Out (Of My Mind)" reveals that the fishermen singing the song engage in this.
    Gaslight anybody
    We sealion
    Have you questionin' your memories from three weeks prior
    'Till you’re knee-deep mired in the freezin' fire
  • Homage: "John Lennon" is a big one to, well, John Lennon. The video clip even looks like the frames are drawn by Lennon himself.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • The lyrics of "John Lennon" has lots of puns on John Lennon and The Beatles' song titles.
    • Dan Bull made a rap about sewing equipment as part of an auction. Naturally, the rap contains a lot of words and puns related to sewing; it's even lampshaded in the hook:
      Re-read the text; I'll hide a load of sewing puns
  • Interscene Diegetic: Usually happens in his videos. For example, at the beginning of his Mass Effect One and Two Epic Rap, there's an image of Shepard talking, and it's assumed that he's rapping. However, as we switch to the rest of the video, his raps are still heard.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Licking broccoli turns him into a Jerkass (he says it's an allergy), and the video background turns into a Sickly Green Glow.
  • Ironic Nursery Rhyme: The hook of the Assassin's Creed: Unity rap is a dark rendition of the popular French children's song "Alouette".
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: He takes care of several cats, and he loves them so much that he made a rap about them.
  • Kukris Are Kool: Invoked in his Assassin's Creed Syndicate rap, referring to the weapons that Jacob and Evie regularly use.
    From Ezio and Edward Kenway through to Henry Green
    Killing is our business, and in business we're immensely keen
    Roughing up these gangs,
    Although there's nothing in my hands
    But for a couple of brass knuckles
    And a kukri that I swang
  • Lampshade Hanging: In his McCree rap, he points out how ridiculous some of his references can be after referencing John Green.
    Read 'em and weep like a John Green feature... novel... No other rapper would say that!
  • Mammoths Mean Ice Age: In "Primal", he literally says "Reset the record to the Pleistocene" as the camera pans over several woolly mammoths.
  • Midword Rhyme: In his "Minecraft Nether Zombie Pigman Rap":
    Have you ever been aghast at a ghast as it blasts
    Burning gas at your ass that could shatter a glass
    So attack!
    And when the thing disappears,
    It can ac-
    tually bring you to tears!
  • Motor Mouth: His raps frequently highlight this.
  • Nerdcore: Most of his music since he started on YouTube has been about video games, although he does still write songs about personal or real-world subjects from time to time as he did at the beginning of his music career.
  • Not Helping Your Case: In his and The Stupendium's Among Us video his character admits to a lot of suspicious behavior, such as deleting CCTV footage, but after being Thrown Out the Airlock he turns out to not be an imposter. Though the alternate ending on Stupendium's channel suggests he might have been one all along.
  • Once per Episode: Every episode of Dan's Rap Roasts series has a part where he makes Significant Anagrams of phrases using Scrabble. His rap roast of KSI even has a whole verse made with only anagrams.
  • Painful Rhyme: In the "Sonic the Hedgehog Villains Rap Cypher", Dan has to really stretch pronunciation to make "Eggman" rhyme with "dead wrong".
  • Parental Love Song: "The God Father", a God of War Ragnarök song about Kratos and Atreus's bond, which also derives from Dan's own experiences as a father. The song is dedicated to Dan's son, George.
    Whatever feats I have achieved
    Whatever deeds I've done
    Will never leave a legacy
    Compared to thee, my son
  • Raiders of the Lost Parody: "Tune into the Madness" has a short scene of Dan parodying the famous idol-swap scene, with a model of The Stupendium's head on top of the pedestal.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: His rap roast of Logan Paul is an absolutely brutal example, calling out the vlogger for his controversial suicide forest video and dissecting everything about it, from his rationale for creating it to the apology video he posted. The video description has a shorter but no less effective one:
    Everybody knows Logan Paul and his pranks by now, but I made this diss track at the beginning of the year when he did the suicide video. After Logan made a video apology I decided not to publish it. After he tasered a dead rat and tried to give CPR to a dying fish, I changed my mind once again. Here it is. Logang 4 Life.
    • His rap roast of Jacob-Rees Mogg is a far more comic example, mocking the politician's proposed ban on certain words in Parliament and his alt-right connections.
  • Recycled Lyrics:
    • The "Deep down, down below the waves" lyric from "Dive into the Madness" has been reused thrice: in "Subnautica", "I'm Heading Out (Of My Mind)", and rewritten slightly in "Tune into the Madness" (naturally, given that it is a sequel to "Dive into the Madness").
    • At the very end of Dan's Assassin's Creed Syndicate rap, he whispers "There's little more gory a thing than living in Victorian England," which is what Dan wrote when he performed as Jack the Ripper for Epic Rap Battles of History.
    • The chorus of "To Valhalla", Dan's rap about Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, has lyrics reused from his Civilization rap.
      "Civilization": Spread the sails and head west against the gales
      And storms aboard Norse longboats with decks as dense as nails

      "To Valhalla": So they can pray to Freyr, but I'm afraid they'll fail
      To create a Danelaw, these raiders' ways are way too frail
      They can set sail and head west against the gales
      Aboard Norse longboats with decks as dense as nails
    • Part of the chorus for "Quiet Please!", Dan's rap about the Warden mob from Minecraft, is taken from "The Emperor's Light", Dan's Warhammer 40,000: Lost Crusade rap.
      "The Emperor's Light": Darkness, closing in on all sides
      I'd guess we're in for a wild ride
      Chance is whether we live or die
      We will return to the emperor's light

      "Quiet Please!": Darkness, closing in on all sides
      I'd guess you're in for a wild ride
      Chance is whether you live or die
      You won't return and it's obvious why
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!: The instrumental to "Busy Buzzy Bees" is a remix of Jacques Offenbach's "Galop infernal" piece, also known as The Cancan Song.
  • Sampling: The hook for his Jacksfilms Rap Roast is directly taken from the end theme to Jack's own "YIAY" series.
  • Sanity Slippage: "I'm Heading Out (Of My Mind)" is a song about a group of fishermen slowly losing their minds and taking it rather well, all things considered. Enforced, given the song is a tribute to DREDGE, a Cosmic Horror game.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • In Dan's video "FORTNITE RAP BATTLE ROYALE", several of the YouTubers shown mock their lack of skill by rapping about getting shot or hiding in shrubberies.
    • He makes fun of his own weird references in the McCreerap.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "How to Make a How to Video" is a how to video that describes how to make a how to video.
    • Also in the lyrics to his Dungeon Keeper rap:
      The heart of your dungeons' the Dungeon Heart
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: "DAN BULL! (douglby)."
    • "Busy Buzzy Bees" does a little twist on it: "BUM BLE! (bumblebee)."
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In his Rap Roasts on Jacksfilms:
    Ladies and gentleman, give it up for Jack Douglass!
    What a lovely chap, goodness
    Oozes from his pores like a cup of that... bubbly stuff
  • Take That!:
    • Any of his open letters.
    • Exaggerated in "Fuck Everything", which is a Take That! to nearly every group, item or concept, even contradicting ones.
    • His entire The Life of Pablo album is one against Kanye West's own album of the same name and how it was first published. Dan wrote, recorded and published the entire album (making sure to name all the songs and structure the album the exact same way as Kanye's), within hours after it was announced that Kanye's album will not be hosted anywhere other than the music service Tidal, and then he uploaded the album on all music platforms except Tidal. The album's quality is what you'd expect from something that's only haphazardly put together for a couple hours, mostly consisting of Dan grunting and saying each song's title over and over for about a minute on each "song".note 
    • "Minecraft Nether Zombie Pigman Rap" has a jab towards Westminster Palace:
      Though the map won't show how immense this cave is
      Like Big Ben, it's surrounded by pig men
      Oooh! Political... Can you tell what I did then?
  • Think of the Children!: This gets mocked in "The Porn Minister", with regards to proposed regulations to try and censor the web. "Think of the children, think of the children! A free and open internet's probably gonna kill them!"
  • This Means War!: Played for Laughs when he threatens The Stupendium with war (again) for making a Control song in the same week he did.
  • Tick Tock Tune: "Tune into the Madness" has a clock ticking sound that plays every other beat, adding to the manic and creepy tone of the song.
  • Villain Song: "I'm Heading Out (Of My Mind)” is a song sung by a group of fishermen waxing lyrical about their ongoing Sanity Slippage at the hands of an Eldritch Abomination; bragging openly about the oceanic mutants they've eaten and all of the various ways they’ve gaslit people.


Video Example(s):



And when the thing disappears

It can AC-

-tually bring you to tears!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / MidwordRhyme

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