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Essential Listening: Dizzee Rascal

Essential Listening: Dizzee Rascal

Essential Listening: Dizzee Rascal

With such an extensive and eclectic back catalogue spanning over almost two decades, Dizzee Rascal managed to hit a number of genres on the spectrum. Starting out as a classic grime act among other OGs, the emcee then dabbled in mainstream pop and dance style sounds, before coming full circle and excelling in his comfort zone of grime in his most recent release, Raskit. We delve into the world of Dizzee, to pick out the best in his beats and bars.

Fix Up Look Sharp
Well the logical place to start would be the beginning, and to this day his 2003 debut Boy in da Corner stands out as a favourite among grime fans nationwide. The distinct and simple drumbeat loop has proved to be a timeless combination when his bars are concerned and the song has become a staple in the ‘nostalgia’ archive of anyone who was in school when this came out.

Teasing fans with his latest release, Dizzee dropped ‘Space’ as a surprise taster for what was to come from Raskit, and what a tasty teaser that was. Flows so fast they’re almost crossing over into double time and somehow Dizzee still manages to make every word of every bar completely audible, showcasing his stand out skill by breaking up the tempo and changing it up throughout the track.

Jus’ A Rascal
Another one from his seminal debut, ‘Jus’ A Rascal’ is a great introduction into the talent and flair of the artist. The operatic style intro and consequent choruses shouldn’t work but they do, especially when they’re joined by the fast paced flows of the rapper over a rhythmic guitar beat that matches his almost identically.

Dizzee’s not lying when he spits, “all killer no filler” in this comeback track. Don’t be led into a false sense of security with the sweet flute intro, this single is all dirt. From the dub and bass style drones that lie underneath, to the aggressiveness in which Dizzee throws shade at others on the grime scene, saying that he was “on the mic when you was in play school”, all the way to the actual content of the lyrics (you’ll get quite an insight into the type of women he has preference to). You might need a shower after listening to this.     

No matter where you stand on this period of his career, ‘Bonkers’ was an undeniable success, hitting the number one position within both the UK dance and singles chart - proving his secure spot within the dance scene as well as the mainstream. You can pretend you don’t know the words, but you’re only lying to yourself - and mimicking his East London accent while rapping along is the only way to do so.

Dizzee Rascal will be hitting a number of festival stages this year, including Electric Fields in Scotland, taking place between Friday September 1st and Sunday 3rd, Exeter’s Lockdown Festival which takes place over the same weekend, as well as Bestival, which starts on Thursday 7th September and will come to a close on Sunday 11th. He’ll also be headlining shows in the North, hitting Liverpool’s O2 Academy on Monday 2nd October and Leeds O2 Academy on Saturday 7th October.

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Essential Listening: Dizzee Rascal

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