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).