From the hardened East London area of Bowe to one of the biggest selling UK artists of all time, Dizzee paved the way for grime’s mainstream popularity in 2017. He returns to his roots today on the 14th anniversary of BIDC with his latest album ‘Raskit’.
After years of leaving behind the grime scene for more commercial chart-topping records, Dizzee saw the rise of what fans call ‘Grime 2.0’ from the sidelines. It was a collection of new artists breathing life into a scene that some thought had fallen the way of dubstep.
The resurgence of forgotten heroes to most like Kano, Skepta and Wiley proved to Dizzee that there’s still time for the originators to get their well-earned accolades from a modern audience.
Two years ago, he released his first real grime records in a long time, ‘Pagans’ and ‘Couple of Stacks’, both accompanied with the quirky videos he was once known for, it seemed like the grime saviour had returned, and then, nothing… Radio silence again.
His name is still on the lips of all those who had come from or come into the now massively popular genre. His influence is still seen in the younger generations of MCs. His ‘Illmatic’ still revered by all.
By all accounts you could understand why Dizzee had no interest, his stabbing in Ayia Napa and consequential falling out with once best friend Wiley had left him with a bitter taste of all things 140. His commercial success and dancefloor fillers such as ‘Bonkers’ and ‘Holiday’ were keeping him on MTV and Radio 1 with the riches to go with the fame. He was no longer the Boy In Da Corner, he was the Boy on the Top of the Line Up.
Still, as any MC will tell you it’s hard to leave it alone. It’s an art that manifests from self discipline and a constant need to outshine your contemporaries fighting for an emblematic crown. With rumoured shots from Skepta on ‘Konnichiwa’, Dizzee was ready to come back and show everyone they still needed to speak on his name with the respect it deserved. He realised the public’s appetite for his older work with his ‘Boy In Da Corner’ tour and decided to come home.
His latest album brings this whole concept to fruition with Rascal sounding like his old self spitting razor sharp bars over murky grime, devilish hip hop and even gets smooth for the ladies on ‘She Knows What She Wants’.
After all the RBMA lectures, VLAD TV confessionals and Guardian think pieces, Dizzee Rascal retains his place as one of the most highly regarded British artists, let alone grime MCs, solely for the music he makes. Dizzee’s humour, his flow and his ability to make grime a little weirder and a littler darker has kept his fans waiting for his return to the corner he came from. The Boy is back
Listen to Raskit below.