Dizzee Rascal

From Academic Kids

Dylan Mills, known professionally as Dizzee Rascal, is a solo artist who came up in the UK Garage music scene. UK Garage placed more emphasis on the dancefloor, and has since spawned a child genre now known as grime which places more emphasis on the vocalists. He began MCing on pirate radio and at raves at 15.

Rascal grew up in the East End of London in Bow in a council estate, raised by his single mother, a Ghanaian immigrant. Little is known about his father, though it is thought that he died when Mills was 2. He attributes his musical development to a school teacher who allowed him to skip regular classes and spend time working on music on the school computers.

His music is eclectic mixture of garage and hip-hop beats topped with his own unmistakable style of rapping, itself blending elements of garage MCing, conventional rap and ragga, with some more eclectic samples, from metal guitars to found noises added in. His album "Boy in Da Corner" was released to critical acclaim in 2003, preceded by the single "I Luv U" - a tale of accidental teenage pregnancy. In the same year the rapper was stabbed in Ayia Napa, and tabloids tried to link this to a feud between Dizzee and UK Top 40-topping garage act So Solid Crew. Unlike many rappers, Dizzee does not glorify gun culture in his music, but reflects it along with other grim realities of urban life. He has been described as "the vital unvarnished voice of modern-day inner-city UK", and a social element is usually present in most of his tracks. However Dizzee proves that social comment does not necessarily have to be scathing or boring and often there is a humorous element to his lyrics, some might find this (very British) humour similar to that of Mike Skinner of The Streets. Album track "Hold Ya Mouf" contains Dizzee's most quotable line - "I'm a problem for Anthony Blair". In September 2003 Dizzee scooped the Mercury Music Prize for best album, simultaneously the first rapper and youngest person (at 19) to do so.

In 2003 he also collaborated on Basement Jaxx's third album "Kish Kash" on the track "Lucky Star".

In 2004 Dizzee Rascal won The NME award for Innovation.

His second album, Showtime, came out in September 2004.

The single Dream, released in November 2004, is based on a very unusual 3-3-2 time signature. The chorus is a cover of Captain Sensible's song Happy Talk. The Dream video clip consisted of a mock 1950s style children's marionette show depicting scenes corresponding to the lyrics about Mills' East London youth: street culture, crime, single teenage mothers, pirate radio and garage clubs.

Also in 2004, Dizzee Rascal was part of Band Aid 20, a group of British musicians who rerecorded "Do They Know It's Christmas?" He did not sing in the song; rather, he rapped two lines of it ("Spare a thought this yuletide for the deprived, if the table was turned would you survive?" and "You ain't gotta feel guilt just selfless, give a little help to the helpless"). Dizzee Rascal was the first person to add to the song since the original was released.

In March 2005 the single Off To Work was released. It had not been contained on the previous albums. The accompanying video clip featured Dizzee Rascal in various ordinary workplace situations (as policeman, fast food vendor, businessman, etc.) and "PM Dizzee Rascal" announcing his engagement to Cherie Blair.





  • Boy in Da Corner (2003) UK #23 -- Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00015HV4C/qid=1119385862/sr=8-2/ref=pd_csp_2/104-8343406-1103137?v=glance&s=music&n=507846)
  • Showtime (2004) UK #8 --Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000283OA8/qid=1119385862/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/104-8343406-1103137?v=glance&s=music&n=507846)


From Boy in Da Corner:

  • "I Luv U" (2003) UK #29
  • "Fix Up, Look Sharp" (2003) UK #17
  • "Lucky Star" (Basement Jaxx featuring Dizzee Rascal) (2003) UK #23
  • "Jus' A Rascal" (2003) UK #30

From Showtime:

  • "Stand Up Tall" (2004) UK #10
  • "Dream" (2004) UK #14

Guest appearance:

From Showtime/Non-album single:

  • "Graftin'"/Off To Work" (2005) UK #44

External links

de:Dizzee Rascal


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