Dylan Mills, known professionally as Dizzee Rascal (born September 18th, 1984), is a grime solo artist, formerly a Roll Deep crew member, who emerged from the UK Garage music scene. His music was a blend of garage MCing, conventional rap, grime and ragga, with some more eclectic samples.
Dizzee began MCing on pirate radio and at raves at fifteen, but since his mainstream success he has distanced himself from the fledgling scene. Rascal grew up in the East End of London in south Bow in a council estate, raised by his single mother, a Ghanaian immigrant. Little is known about his father, though it is thought that he died when Mills was two. He attributes his musical development to a school teacher who allowed him to skip regular classes and spend time working on music on the school computers.
His music is an eclectic mixture of garage and hip-hop beats with an extremely broad palette of influences, ranging from metal guitars to found sounds, drill and bass synth lines, eclectic samples and even Japanese court music. His vocal performance is also distinctive, he uses a fast version of rapping (known as 'spitting') which blends elements from garage MCing, conventional rap, grime and ragga.
Dizzee Rascal has numerous rivals within the Grime scene, mainly from the Bow, East London area. A notable rival of Dizzee Rascal is Crazy Titch who produced and recorded a diss called "Just An Arsehole" which used the backing track of Dizzee's record of "Jus A Rascal".
He released his debut album in 2003, which was called Boy In Da Corner, winning him the 2003 Mercury Prize. His second album Showtime was released in 2004. His third effort, Maths and English was released in 2007. All three albums received critical acclaim. He experienced commercial success in 2008 when Dance Wiv Me reached the number one spot in the UK charts. His fourth album, Tongue n' Cheek was released in 2009, going platinum for sales exceeding 300,000 units in the UK. Dizzee Rascal's album The Fifth was released in 2013, the same year he received an honorary Doctorate of the Arts from the University of East London.
In 2017, Rascal released Raskit, which as well as building on his sound heralded a return on some songs to the grime sound of his earlier albums.
2003: Boy in da Corner
2007: Maths + English
2009: Tongue n' Cheek
2013: The Fifth