Dizzee Rascal goes back to basics with no official features, a contrast to the 2013 album ‘The
Fifth’ which included a vast amount of people, even having the likes of Robbie Williams. This
posed a lot of questions from old Grime fans. But it seems as if in this album Dizzee has gone
back to his roots, I mean he is a pioneer of Grime! Even the cover of “Raskit” mirrors the black
and yellow colours used in his 2003 “Boy in da Corner” which is considered a grime
masterwork. In addition, Hip Hop fans will enjoy the careful selection of beats to show or even
remind fans of Dizzee’s rap ability.
Most beats were either grimey, trappy or had a Hip Hop feel to them. Although, most beats were
simple, this was necessary as we heard Dizzee’s recognizable voice which always proves to
unquestionably make his songs distinct and unique.
Throughout the album there is a sense of Dizzee reminiscing and reflecting on his life. The intro
‘Focus’ has Dizzee revealing he “never really knew what a pen could do” showing that until this
day he is surprised that his remarkable journey in music started by just jointing a few words on a
‘Wot U Gonna Do?’ is a message to rappers of this generation stating, “wot u gonna do when
they won’t play your record or you don’t get booked cos your buzz is all gone”. This is an insight
into what happened to Dizzee when he went into the world of mainstream pop. This in your
face, grimey track also talks about even when you’re at the top how hard it is to maintain that
status. The nostalgic grimey instrumental and Dizzee’s relentless flow will remind the listener of
early Dizzee. He also reminds Grime fans that he is one of the pioneers of Grime saying that
“Everybody wanna take shots at the king!”
It is clear that Dizzee is conscious of his critics as in “The Other Side” he suggests “why they
talking like I never made bare Grime” which could be considered a shot at those who clown him
for taking the route into mainstream radio.
The flute in ‘Ghost’, is a similar reconstruction of ‘Futures – Mask Off’ instrumental, but with a
grimey bass. “Talk about grime like I ain’t the stable”. Dizzee Rascal constantly feels underrated
as a Grime figure and maybe feels overlooked now that people like Stormzy are at the top of the
‘grime’ game. What is clear is that Dizzee has the freedom on is album to experiment with
sounds that we were used to hearing back in the day!
Bop N Keep it Dippin, uses more Hip Hop sounding beats, which can be reminiscent of early Dr
Dre type sounds. Dizzee shows that he can spit on different types of beats with a catchy hook,
while also still having a powerful message. He reminisces about how he used to debate on who
had the best verse, chilling listening to music with friends, whilst addressing the dark moments
stating, “bloods about to spill” talking about crime and wrongdoings that he experienced.
‘Dummy (16 for the Juice)’ shows us his versatility on the mic being able to use imagery, with
fast flows and potent bars which shows us that Dizzee is easily still relevant but now also has
the added experience to be able to reflect on what could have been if he wasn’t so fortunate.
‘Slow Your Roll’ has a high-quality production and this reinforces Dizzee Rascal’s thoughts as
he educates us on gentrification. Stating that we must “let the yout dem grow”. The hard-hitting
last verse reflects the truth about what is happening in places in London, whereby the area gets
renovated to a point where only the rich can afford to live there.
‘Man of the Hour’, the last song, also has an old school West Coast vibe to it. Dizzee talks about
how far he’s come and that he never would have thought he would be such a famous musical
Dizzee shuts down all those critics that now consider him a ‘pop’ artist by creating a project
which will be considered a success in Grime. The powerful concepts, catchy hooks and fast
flows show us why he was so instrumental in making the early Grime records back in the day.
This project shows us that he still has a lot to offer, but then again, what kind of pioneer of
Written By : Jordan Edwards