The man who Jeremy Paxman is known to call “Mr Rascal”
Over three albums, Dizzee Rascal and his co-producer Cage pioneered a spooky, minimalist and brutal brand of electronica that enthused critics but never really translated into sales.
Now Dizzee has finally become a bona fide pop star by guesting on other producer’s tracks. Alongside his two chart-topping singles – Calvin Harris’ housed-up “Dance Wiv Me” and Armand Van Helden’s thumping electro anthem “Bonkers” – album number four also features another cheesy team-up with Harris (“Holiday”), and a splendid dancehall collaboration with Shy FX (“Can’t Tek No More”).
The best tracks, however, see him revert to his grimier, Steve Reich-plays-Nintendo roots, like the roughneck “Road Rage” and the bleepy, toytown minimalism of “Money Money”.
Inevitably, youthful anger has been replaced by pettier bourgeois concerns (traffic wardens, the congestion charge), but there’s a sensitivity and playfulness that’s still hugely endearing.
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