Learn more about Dizzee Rascal
<tr style="text-align: center;"><td colspan="3">Image:Dizzee.jpg |
| Background information
<tr><td>Birth name</td><td colspan="2">Dylan Mills</td></tr><tr><td>Born</td><td colspan="2">November 1 1985</td></tr><tr><td>Origin</td><td colspan="2">London, England</td></tr><tr><td>Genre(s)</td><td colspan="2">Grime</td></tr><tr><td>Occupation(s)</td><td colspan="2">Vocalist, Producer</td></tr><tr><td>Instrument(s)</td><td colspan="2">Vocals</td></tr><tr><td>Years active</td><td colspan="2">1995-Present</td></tr><tr><td style="padding-right: 1em;">Label(s)</td><td colspan="2">XL
Dylan Mills, known professionally as Dizzee Rascal (born November 1 1985), is a solo artist, He is formerly a Roll Deep crew member, who emerged from the UK Garage music scene. His (largely self-composed) music is a blend of garage MCing, conventional rap, grime and ragga, with extremely eclectic samples and styles.
Dizzee began MCing on pirate radio and at raves at fifteen, but since his mainstream success he has distanced himself from the fledgling scene. Rascal grew up in the East End of London in south Bow in a council estate, raised by his single mother, a immigrant. Little is known about his father, though it is thought that he died when Mills was two. 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 an eclectic mixture of garage and hip-hop beats with an extremely broad palette of influences, ranging from metal guitars to found sounds, drill and bass synth lines, eclectic samples and even Japanese court music. His vocal performance is also distinctive, he uses a fast version of rapping (known as 'spitting') which blends elements from garage MCing, conventional rap, grime and ragga.
Dizzee Rascal has numerous rivals within the Grime scene, mainly from the East London area. A notable rival of Dizzee Rascal is Crazy Titch who produced and recorded a diss called "Just An Arsehole" which used the backing track of Dizzee's record of "Jus A Rascal".
 "Boy In Da Corner"
After winning a Sidewinder award for 'best newcomer MC' in 2002, his album Boy in Da Corner was released to universal critical acclaim in August 2003, entering the UK top 40 at #40. The album later peaked at #23. The album was preceded in June 2003 by the top 30 hit single "I Luv U" - a tale of accidental teenage pregnancy. In the same year the rapper was stabbed in Ayia Napa. Many tabloids suggested that this event was connected to an apparent feud between Dizzee and UK Top 40-topping garage act So Solid Crew. Dizzee has been described as "the vital unvarnished voice of modern-day inner-city London", and social commentary is usually present in most of his tracks. Despite the often serious content of his music, there are frequently humorous elements to be found.
Following the success of the "I Luv U" single and the album, the second single from Boy in Da Corner was "Fix Up, Look Sharp". The single, released in August 2003, gave Dizzee his first UK top 20 single and also became the biggest hit from his debut album. In September, Dizzee was awarded the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for the best album of 2003. He was simultaneously the first rapper and youngest person (at 19) to do so.
Later in the year he collaborated with the Basement Jaxx on their third album, Kish Kash on the track "Lucky Star". The track, which was released as a single in November 2003 and gave Dizzee his third top 30 hit. The third and final single taken from his debut album, was "Jus' A Rascal" which became his fourth top 30 success. The song was also featured in the movie Kidulthood released in 2006.
In 2004, Dizzee Rascal won The NME award for Innovation. His second album, Showtime (album), came out in September of the same year, eclipsing the peak of his debut album by entering the UK album chart at #8. The first single from the album, released two weeks earlier in August 2004, was titled "Stand Up Tall". This track gave Dizzee his highest charting single to date, managing to enter the UK top 10.
The second single "Dream", another top 20 hit, was released in November 2004. It sampled (and used the chorus of) Captain Sensible's song "Happy Talk", originally from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, South Pacific. The "Dream" music video 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.
Later in 2004, Dizzee Rascal was part of Band Aid 20, a group of British musicians who re-recorded "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 double 'a' side single "Off 2 Work" / "Graftin'" was released. "Graftin'" was the third and final single from the Showtime album, whilst "Off 2 Work" was a new track that did not appear on either of his albums. The accompanying music video featured Rascal in various ordinary workplace situations (as a policeman, a fast food vendor, a businessman, etc.) and "PM Dizzee Rascal" announcing his engagement to Cherie Blair. This was Dizzee's lowest charting single and smallest hit to date, peaking outside the UK top 40 at #44.
 Maths and English
Dizzee has been preparing his third album Maths and English to be released in March 2007 (see www.dizzeerascal.co.uk). In a recent interview, he attributed the album title to his view on music itself, whereby the beats are the "Maths", with the rhymes being the "English".
"Waste Man", a sparse, gritty composition produced by the Newham Generals (see below) is slated to be the first release from this album.
 Dirtee Stank
Dizzee Rascal has created his own record label, called “Dirtee Stank” (He is not signed to it, however). Dizzee Rascal's explanation of the name: “The name came from one of the first lyrics I had: “going on dirty/going on stank"...So I thought ‘yeah fuck it, Dirtee Stank.’
Dizzee has stated that “record label existed before I had a deal”. The first white label release of 'I Luv U' was made on Dirtee Stank, released when he was 16. Although both of his albums and their subsequent singles have been released under XL recordings. It was not until 2005 that Dizzee Rascal ‘revived’ the label and made his first signings, Klass A,<ref name="reference">"Dirtee stank", Dizzee, May 02 2006.</ref> and Newham generals. Dizzee has stated the ethos of the company is “The label is about bridging the gap between indies, majors and the street. Stank is the way forwards”. The label's logo is a picture of flies circling faeces, when asked why this logo was chosen Dizzee stated that it was: “gulliest thing I could think of"
The label was formed and is owned by Dizzee Rascal, and is co-run by Dizzee's manager, Cage. According to Cage, Dirtee Stank exists to promote gifted artists with "social problems" that might scare off other labels. "People who, through the conditions they live in, might not be stable." <ref name="reference">"Dirtee stank", Dizzee, May 02 2006.</ref>The label should also help artists overcome hurdles such as access to studios that "take something from a raw demo to something people will get excited about on the street".
Currently the Newham Generals' mixtape “Welcome to Newham” and their debut album “Generally Speaking” are slated for an unknown release date in 2006 
- Download sample from "I Luv U", Dizzee's debut single.
|UK Singles Chart|
|2003||"I Luv U/Vexed"||29||Boy in Da Corner|
|2003||"Fix Up, Look Sharp/Stop Dat"||17||Boy in Da Corner|
|2003|| "Lucky Star" |
(Basement Jaxx featuring Dizzee Rascal)
|2003||"Jus' a Rascal"||30||Boy in Da Corner|
|2003|| "Do They Know It's Christmas?" |
(as part of Band Aid 20)
|2004||"Stand up Tall"||10||Showtime|
|2004|| "Off 2 Work" / |
|2006||"Waste Man"||—||Maths and English|
 External links
- Official sites
- Unofficial sites