Zeph Ellis

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Zeph Ellis
Birth name Joseph Ellis-Stevenson
Also known as Dot Rotten
Zeph Ellis
Young Dot
Y. Dot
Mr. 36
Born (1988-10-19) 19 October 1988 (age 27)
Stockwell, London, England[1]
Years active 2004-present
Labels Mercury (2011—present)
Associated acts
Website sellfy.com/Itszephellis

Joseph Ellis-Stevenson (born 19 October 1988), better known by his stage name Zeph Ellis (formerly Dot Rotten), is an English rapper and producer born in Stockwell, London, England.[1] Having released a series of mixtapes independently, Ellis signed to Mercury Records and then signed to be managed by Takeover Entertainment in April 2011;[2][3] releasing his debut single "Keep It on a Low" on 4 November 2011. On 5 December 2011, the BBC announced that he had been nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll.[1] He has since released three more singles and his debut album Voices in My Head. Its most successful single was "Overload", which reached number 15 on the UK Singles Chart. He is known for his high energy grime instrumentals and lyricism and flow in his raps.

Dot's inspiration ranges from Timbaland to Bob Marley and Jamiroquai.[3]


2004-2008: Early career and moniker change[edit]

Born Joseph Ellis, Dot Rotten began rapping at the age of seven; using an Atari model as a basis for music production.[1] Under the guise, Young Dot, Ellis released his first mixtape as a rapper during 2007, entitled This Is The Beginning. The following year saw Ellis abandon the moniker and adopt a new guise, Dot Rotten. The change in name succeeded a farewell mixtape, R.I.P. Young Dot, which was released on 14 July 2008; which in itself succeeded a six volume mixtape, Rotten Riddims - which was made available as a digital download from 1 June – 7 July.

2008-2011: Mixtapes and collaborating under Dot Rotten[edit]

Now Dot Rotten, Ellis made his first appearance as a featured artist on rapper Early B's single "A Star", released in the United Kingdom on 1 November 2008. The collaboration followed a guest appearance by Rotten on rapper P Money's debut studio album, P Money Is Power, in July 2008. The following year Ellis released two mixtapes entitled S.O.O.N and Extra Attention. Over the next few years, Rotten made several other guest appearances, including on Ed Sheeran's No. 5 Collaborations Project ("Goodbye to You"),[4] Mz. Bratt's Elements mixtape ("Speeding By")[5] and Cher Lloyd's Sticks + Stones ("Dub on the Track"); the latter of which also featured Mic Righteous and Ghetts.

2011-2013: Breakthrough and Voices In My Head[edit]

It was revealed in September 2011 that Rotten was to appear on the Children in Need 2011 charity single, "Teardrop", a cover of the Massive Attack song by the same name.[6][7] Under the name 'The Collective', Rotten appeared as one of many artists assembled by Take That member Gary Barlow, which included Chipmunk, Wretch 32, Mz. Bratt, Labrinth, Rizzle Kicks, Ed Sheeran, Ms. Dynamite and Tulisa Contostavlos. The single, which was performed both at Children in Need 2011 and Children in Need Rocks Manchester on 17 November 2011 debuted at number twenty-four on the UK Singles Chart;[8] marking Dot Rotten's first chart appearance. The song also debuted at number seven on the R&B chart[9] and at number thirty on the Scottish chart.[10] The rapper proceeded to release his debut single on 4 November 2011, entitled "Keep It on a Low". It was announced on 5 December that Dot Rotten had been nominated for the BBC's poll Sound of 2012[1] - a poll which predicts artists/musicians who will rise to fame in the coming year; and has seen winners Jessie J and Ellie Goulding receive acclaimed international success. The rapper's second single, "Are You Not Entertained?" was released on 4 March 2012, following a premiere from BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe on 4 January. For the chart week ending 17 March 2012, "Are You Not Entertained?" debuted at number fifty-three on the UK Singles Chart and number twenty-one on the UK R&B Chart - marking Rotten's first chart appearance as a solo artist.[8][9] As part of the Radio 1/Radio 1Xtra Hull takeover, Rotten performed the tracks "Keep It on a Low" and "Are You Not Entertained" on 28 January - joining DJ Trevor Nelson at Hull University.[11] The rapper's third single, "Overload", was released in the United Kingdom on 28 May 2012. Sampling the 1996 number-two hit "Children", by Robert Miles, the track was selected as Zane Lowe's Hottest Record in the World on 26 March.[12] For the chart week dated 9 June, "Overload" debuted at number fifteen on the UK chart—having sold 20,911 copies;[8][13] also debuting at number three on the R&B chart.[9] His debut studio album, Voices In My Head, was released in the United Kingdom on 6 May 2013. Despite the successful singles, it only managed to chart at number 146 on the UK Albums Chart. Dot also released a mixtape titled Throwback Music, consisting of songs that didn't make the final cut of the album, as part of its promotion.

2013-present: Minarmy and Interview[edit]

Dot has been writing material for his forthcoming second studio album, titled Interview. On 7 January 2014, he released a free EP titled Minfection. It features a mixture of old and new songs, including "You Wasted My Time". The song is a remix of Krept & Konan's 2013 song "Don't Waste My Time" which has spawned several notable freestyles and remixes in 2014. Aside from albums, he has also been pushing Minarmy (Music Inspiration Network Army), a collective of British rappers, designers and producers which he founded with Ed Sheeran in 2011. They have released a series of instrumental mixtapes titled Minstrumentals, with the first instalment produced by Dot.[14] The album was released as a free download on 13 July 2014 and is set to be Rotten's final studio album, as he plans to produce records instead on a full-time basis.[15] It features collaborations with Stylo G, Lady Leshurr and Loadstar amongst others. He took a break from rapping in 2014 but featured in "DDark's Mission Riddim" and many other tracks that year and started making his Trap filled EP "The Interview". He started making beats on soul trap, trap and drill music that year. He finally came back to MC'ing by featuring on C Cane's track "My Team" with Scruffizer and Izzie Gibbs. He then posted a "No Respect Freestyle" on Soundcloud.


2011: Dispute with Wiley[edit]

In March 2011, Rotten became involved in a dispute with Bow, London rapper Wiley. The dispute, which was primarily evident via Twitter, saw the two artists release 'diss' tracks onto the internet.[16] Wiley released his first track which was Therapy Battling and Dot Rotten released the first track, entitled "Pop Artist" and within twenty-four hours, Wiley had released "Soundboy Killer". Rotten made attempts to reply to the latter, including the release of "It's Over", which was jokingly said to feature Wiley's mother.

2014: Diss track to Krept and Konan[edit]

Dot Rotten Made a diss track towards Krept and Konan called "Wasted Time" which sampled Krept and Konan's Don't Waste my Time". Krept and Konan said on their NFTR interview they didn't know why Dot Rotten released a diss track to them.


Studio albums[edit]