Written by Edward Burrell
Dizzee Rascal’s new album is a clear return to his origins. Despite the many albums he has produced, the concept piece, Boy In Da Corner is still what he is most known for. This, new album, is a concept piece but still as grimey as the alias Raskit.
Raskit is an alias Dizzee had back in 2003 when he was still associated with Slimzee. So if this is a return to his origins in grime, maybe he is also returning to being more as like Raskit. But before he does that, he has to explain whom “Raskit” was/is, as well as give us insight to how “Raskit” thinks.
I feel that this is what the album sets out to and does accomplish. It addresses issues that “Raskit” addressed previously but more importantly, this album reflects on what “Raskit” thinks of this era of music. You could even take it as far as to suggest that Raskit offers Dizzee’s views on todays society.
There were two songs released as singles previously; Wot U Gonna Do? and Space. Seeing as you have had plenty of time to listen to them yourselves, I would rather focus on other songs of importance on the album that you may not have listened to much yet. But one thing they both set the tone for was grime flows on every single track. There definitely is a commitment to being Raskit which is what I am going to prove with this review.
Ghost seems to be drawing on Dizzee’s past and laying down bragging rights at the same time. “I was on pirate radio way before I heard Mike Skinner”. In my opinion this is the most impressive, lyrically, which helps with the braggadocio on the track. Self-proclaiming himself as staple of grime, he describes some of his regular mannerisms as Raskit, like he just reminiscing about himself. I know it sounds odd what I’m saying, he literally says “I don’t wanna brag or boast”, but explaining his legacy to us in such a way means it unavoidable. Dizzee sees it as fact that he does the most and implies people have been sucking up to him over the years.
Moving on, The Other Side will mean a lot to old grime fans who know a lot about the scene, Dizzee is almost exclusively talking to them on this track in the form of Raskit. The main focus of this song is firstly, evaluating what he loves and hates about the scene currently, and secondly, distancing him from old conflicts. Slating singers who use melody and throwing a bit of shade in general on the work rate of some new era MCs. The line “Tell Willy I don’t need a pen pal” is loaded to say the least, a clear reference to the song Letter To Dizzee from Wiley’s album Playtime’s Over all those years ago. But Dizzee’s frustration in this song is that he doesn’t want to be a known as this dinosaur that was only Grime-y in 2003/2004, and he thinks the new generation of MCs need to pull their socks up a bit.
Raskit just seems a bit fed up on Sick A Dis, it’s like he’s watched so many things go by that have irritated him, and only now has he decided vent. There seems to be no real correlation or common topic, spanning from our current government to being “sick of foreigners saying they support Chelsea”. Frankly this song makes for a good laugh but even the instrumental makes you want to vent as well.
Other songs worth drawing attention to are Everything Must Go and Focus. This album didn’t necessarily have the goal of making a load of bangers to pump in a rave, but you’ll definitely bump this in your car if you need something grimey to listen to. As a concept album, it’s very thought provoking, and if the UK had its own Kendrick Lemar, it would be Raskit, and I mean Raskit, not Dizzee Rascal.
Listen to Space below.