Dizzee Rascal: My Life In Miami

He’s the UK grime artist gone platinum. Dizzee talks working with Robbie, American girls and bumping into Spike Lee. 

Most Popular

If it feels like a long time ago that Dizzee Rascal first emerged as the caustic voice of Britain's underground grime scene, that's because it was – ten whole years.

Since Boy In Da Corner, the Bow native's four subsequent albums have grown progressively more hit-driven and fun, charting, perhaps, one young man's journey from London-induced angst to Miami-induced happiness. Now he’s back on home turf to promote Microsoft's new Surface 2 tablet, as well as the latest of those albums, The Fifth.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

So what is life like now for Britain's most successful rapper of all time? Here he fills us in on working with Robbie Williams, bumping into Spike Lee and chasing American girls.


***
 

How does being in the US compare to the UK?
In Miami, there’s a buzz there, everyone out there’s partying – it’s crazy. When I first went there I was super excited about it, now I’m kind of more settled in. Even when I’m there I don’t just stay in Miami, I go to LA, New York, Houston... There’s a lot going on music-wise in LA. It’s a wicked place to wake up, there’s sunshine, you go to the studio, see all these really talented producers. It was a great way to do it; I’ve never made an album like that.

Most Popular

What was it like working with Robbie Williams?
He’s a cool guy. Obviously he’s a superstar, but then there’s this side to him that’s normal. Watching him record was really good – he’s one of the few artists that was there in person, a lot of it was done over file transfer. It was nice to hang out with another English guy – someone who understands the banter. It’s good to be with a veteran as well. He’s been at the top of his game for pretty much 20 years and he’s still really humble. It’s weird – I grew up seeing him on TV and then you’re standing in his house in his home studio, giving him pointers on how you want him to sing.

Who do you hang out with when you’re in the US?
I see [Good Charlotte’s] Benji Madden when I’m out there. Plan B if he’s there. In LA you can bump into anyone. I walked into the studio and Chris Brown was standing there with Spike Lee. It’s random to walk into one of these places and see people just there like: ‘Oh shit!’ But you’re all there doing the same thing.

What are the girls like out there?
Girls are a lot more superficial in LA. You don’t see the real side of things until you go into the real neighborhoods, the residential areas. LA is a lot more over-the top.

Any big romances...?
You mean who am I f**king?! No one you’ll know...

What albums have influenced you the most?
When I was growing up, it was  All Eyes On Me by Tupac and Doggy Style by Snoop Dogg. I've met Snoop and he's the best. They say you shouldn’t meet your idol – that definitely doesn’t apply to him.

How do you get inspiration for songs?
‘Love this Town’ is obviously about London, but the first verse describes a birthday party I was at a couple years ago. It was the fist time in ages I’d been with all of the people I grew up with in one building, and I had a really good feeling after that. I didn’t end up writing about it for maybe a year, then when I was thinking about all the good stuff in London, that stuck with me. Sometimes you might get inspired by something, write about it, then later that lyrics sounds better on another beat. That’s happened a few times. Like ‘Dance Wiv Me’ – those lyrics didn’t start on that beat. You might think a song is done, until you go to a studio and hear a wicked beat, and you’re like: ‘Actually, that song was alright, but this song is a hit.’

Can you tell when something’s going to be a hit?
Yeah. When the shit's banging and smashing the speakers, you just know.

 

***
MORE MUSIC:

Bobby Gillespie: What I've Learned 
Mick Jagger's Life Lessons At 70
'Madchester' Exposed In New Book 
***

What do you think?

Snapchat Glasses
Culture
Share
Snapchat Is Bringing Out Sunglasses That Record Video
​Is this the end of days?​
Culture
Share
The Making Of David Bowie's Lost Soul Album
​How it got made—and why it was shelved—from those that were there​
Drake
Culture
Share
Drake Has Released His Own Action Film
​​A mix of Indecent Proposal, The Bourne Identity and Taken... ​apparently ​
Culture
Share
Nirvana's 'Nevermind' Baby Has Recreated His Cover Shot 25 Years Later
​"I said to the photographer, 'Let's do it naked.' But he thought that would be weird​"
TV
Share
Watch The Trailer For Matt Damon And Ben Affleck's New TV Series
​​It's a dystopian drama, and it looks surprisingly good​
Culture
Share
Is This The Worst Plane Seat Assignment Ever?
Hello, nightmares
Culture
Share
Watch Two Cars Delicately Drift In Sync
It's pretty mesmerising
Culture
Share
5 Things Every Man Needs To Know About This Week
​Your cultural(ish) guide to the week ahead​​
TV
Share
Game of Thrones Actors are Also Peeved About Their Characters Randomly Getting Killed
The man behind Doran Martell opens up about his one big moment last season
Culture
Share
This Is Where "Roger That" Really Comes From
​Copy that.​