Dizzee Rascal at the Copper Box Arena, A Brief & Frantic Reminder Of His Power

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Back in the day you got the sense that a lot of Grime MC’s, DJ’s and Producers were incredibly enamoured with the idea that a big record label would come along and ‘rescue’ them (for lack of a better phrase term). There was a collective idea that success meant appearing on Top of Pops and selling out 30,000 capacity stadiums and anything less than that was deemed a failure. The early success of Lethal Bizzle’s More Fire Crew and acts such as So Solid and Roll Deep Crew probably didn’t help matters. Inevitably that thirst for success led to many an artist to stray too close to the mainstream flame which would eventually burn them out in the process. Luckily one artist was able to defy convention and produce one of the best albums in Grime history; Dizzee Rascal. I loved Dizzee growing up, he was this mysterious figure within Grime who didn’t quite belong to any crew and sorta floated around, but still held his own during random radio sets you’d catch him on. Then suddenly out of nowhere he was signed to XL records and you kinda felt a bit of sad, because you knew it would mean his music would turn to shit whilst he chased mainstream success.

Luckily before his music went dudu he produced ‘Boy In the Corner’; a seminal piece of work of relentless angst and introspection laced with some great bits of humour. Last Saturday i got the chance to see Dizzee perform the album in its entirety for the first time ever at an event sponsored by Red Bull. The show was amazing although there was some parts I would have changed such as Dizzee’s outfit, it’s a small detail but it would have been great to see him wear the same outfit he had on the album cover live. And the visual element of the show was non-existent, which would have added another dimension to the event. He also had to cut the song ‘Jezebel’ short because he forgot some of his lyrics but even with all that being said, being in an arena the size of Cooper Box alongside other die-hard Dizzee fans was an experience i’ll treasure for a long time.