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Dizzee Rascal

(1985-), Rap singer, songwriter and DJ

Dizzee Rascal (Dylan Mills)

Sitter in 3 portraits
Dizzee Rascal is a pioneer of the UK grime music scene. Born Dylan Mills to a Ghanaian mother and Nigerian father who died when Dizzee was young, he grew up in an estate in Bow, east London and was named 'rascal' by a teacher after his fourth school expulsion. He began rapping in the UK garage style, and was encouraged to develop his musical talents by his teacher Tim Smith. In 2002, he joined Roll Deep, a garage-grime collective organised by musician Wiley (known as the 'Godfather of Grime'), as well as self-producing his first single I Luv U (2003), which reached number twenty-nine in the UK charts. It was followed by Fix Up, Look Sharp (2003), which went to number seventeen. In 2003, aged nineteen, Dizzee won the Mercury Music Prize for his debut album Boy in Da Corner, the youngest winner in the award’s history. His critically acclaimed fourth album, Tongue N' Cheek, was released in 2009 and awarded gold and platinum discs with sales exceeding 300,000. It included four of his five number-one singles: Dance Wiv Me (2008), Bonkers (2009), Holiday (2009) and Dirtee Disco (2010). Dizzee won Best British Male Solo Artist at the 2010 Brit Awards, and performed at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. Dizzee’s style is noted for the speed with which he raps over drum’n’bass tracks, and he also cites crunk and grunge as musical influences. After ten years of commercial success, Dizzee Rascal returned to pure grime and hip-hop with his sixth album, Raskit (2017).

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Dizzee Rascal, by Simon Frederick - NPG P2066

Dizzee Rascal

by Simon Frederick
archival inkjet print, 2016
NPG P2066

Dizzee Rascal, by Jamie Beeden - NPG x127021

Dizzee Rascal

by Jamie Beeden
chromogenic print, Spring 2003
NPG x127021

Dizzee Rascal, by Emma Hardy - NPG x128793

Dizzee Rascal

by Emma Hardy
chromogenic print, 22 August 2006
NPG x128793

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