Grime may be experiencing a revival and peak in popularity at the moment and although there are several new wave artists breaking through and helping the genre reach an all-time high, there are some individuals who have been flying the flag for several years now, one of the most prolific of which is Dizzee Rascal.
With one platinum and three gold selling albums, four UK number one singles and a further five top ten hits, he is a pioneer and a legend in the grime scene, with many of today’s rising stars quoting him as a strong influence in their music. Dizzee’s record label Dirtee Stank, which he started when he was just 16, is also one of the scene’s most sought after labels, with the likes of Newham Generals (D Double E & Footsie) and Klass A signed amongst others.
Here we have picked five of Dizzee Rascal’s most poignant tracks to celebrate the grhyming master.
Stand Up Tall
Showtime, which this single was taken from, didn’t sell as well as Boy In Da Corner, however it was still a big hit in the UK with sales going gold and peaking at number 8 in the UK chart. Although more accessible than its predecessor, the lyrics were still described as “astonishing” and it received rave review from almost all critics who reviewed it.
I Luv U
"I Luv You" was the third single on Dizzee Rascal’s debut album Boy In Da Corner, with this LP still remaining his most popular amongst music critics to date. It won the Mercury Price for best album in its year of release and was the first album to grime major exposure in the UK.
Old Skool (Pussyole)
"Old Skool" was released as the clean version of the track originally named "Pussyole", which hit the number twenty-two spot in the UK chart. The song is rumoured to be a diss at Wiley, a former friend of Dizzee and a member of the Roll Deep crew, and also contains jabs at Lethal Bizzle and Kano.
From the LP Maths + English, "Sirens" is the lead single that although didn’t receive much airplay on the radio and music television, still became a big hit for the rapper. The music video infamously sees Dizzee being chased by fox hunters to eventually be seemingly killed.
"Stop Dat" is the second single on Boy In Da Corner, which again was Dizzee’s big break in giving the grime genre exposure in the UK like never before.
Words by Josh Plews
Photo courtesy of Dizzee Rascal