In 1998, 2-D and Murdoc moved into Kong Studios and assembled Russel Hobbs to join them. 2-D's girlfriend, Paula Cracker was originally the group's first guitar player but was soon fired after Russel caught her and Murdoc in the studio toilets making out. 2-D was upset about this and he and Paula broke up. After she was replaced by Noodle and the band was named Gorillaz. 2-D began dating Rachel Stevens, former member of S-Club 7 and invited her to the band's first gig at the Camden Brownhouse.
After Gorillaz attended the record label signing party, Rachel broke up with 2-D the next day, after Murdoc spent most of the evening hitting on her to get her attention.