Wednesday, 2 December 2009

30: Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp


So begins this song, and with it my huge affection for all things Dizzee. When Dylan Mills launched his solo career in 2003 (he'd been a member of Roll Deep Crew until then), no-one could have predicted the incredible success he would have. Mr. Rascal is a bona fide urban megastar, and best of all, he's our megastar. For Dizzee is a Londoner, through and through.

It hasn't all been plain sailing for Dizzee though. In the week that 'Boy In Da Corner', his Mercury prize-winning debut album was released, he was stabbed in Ayia Napa, possibly as a result of a feud with members of So Solid Crew (the artists behind
my #49th ranked song of the decade). But then again, getting stabbed (or shot) can do wonders for a rap career - just ask 50 'Fiddy' Cent. The enhanced publicity must have helped with the album promotion.

I had a tough choice to make when deciding which Dizzee songs would grace my decade list. From the first album alone, I could have chosen the playfulness of 'I Luv U' or the staccato mental-ness of 'Jus A Rascal'. And of course, there have been three subsequent albums, all of them great, all packed with memorable hits - like
'Holiday', which already made my countdown too.

But I went with 'Fix Up, Look Sharp' because that pounding, booming beat was the perfect platform to allow Dizzee to display the full lyrical dexterity and versatility that has made him such a living legend. It's not just the words, but the way that they are delivered, the rhythmical flow of his voice, that sets him apart. Of course, lines like "I stay sweet as a nut, sweet like Tropicana" don't hurt his case either.

Dizzee is now Britain's finest urban artist, able to compete with the best America has to offer. Not bad for the boy in da corner, the boy from Bow.

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