While Dizzee Rascal is often hailed as one of the most exciting rappers of modern times, he’s also played a significant part in pioneering grime music. Unafraid to draw inspiration from various musical wells, his sound takes on elements of hip-hop, garage, R&B and bassline.
Rascal’s first album, Boy in da Corner, was a welcome shot in the arm for UK music. While other artists seemed to be retro-fitting their musical influences, Rascal was looking forward. The album is pulsing with frenetic, angry energy, from its rhythmical electronic throbs to the unsettling choruses of murmuring vocals and the distorted sounds of arcade games.
While his sound has evolved over the years, his lyrics remain both angry and vulnerable. Often depicting life on the streets, they are shot through with dark humour, such as the ‘eight millimetres’ line on Brand New Day.