Dizzee Rascal has seen in 2012 with the release of a new free mixtape. Titled Dirteetv.com, it shares its name with Dizzee’s new online video channel and features a host of guest appearances from the UK scene.
Among the names lining up to lend support are Kano, Newham Generals, Scufizzer and Example. Even UK hip hop DJ and Ali G inspiration Tim Westwood pops up with a few audio drops. Produced by Dizzee’s Dirtee Stank team, the mixtape is the first release from Mr Rascal since his decision to take a break from music last year.
As to what direction Dizzee will be taking on his comeback proper, it’s anyone’s guess. Speaking to Radio 1 he said that he had no intention of moving away from the charts and back to his underground roots. “I think some people think that I was pressured into it but it was my choice,” he said. “I like making big pop records. It was something I wanted to try my hand at. When I did ‘Dance Wiv Me’, ‘Bonkers’ and ‘Holiday’ it was all experimental, that was all I wanted to do, and it’s worked, so I don’t see any reason not to do it.”
For his comeback, the experimentation could be going in a very different direction. Dizzee has reportedly been collaborating with Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden and has spoken of his desire to work with Foo Fighters frontman and ‘Nicest Man in Rockä) Dave Grohl. If Dizzee is taking the rap-rock route, let’s hope the results are more Run DMC meets Aerosmith than Ja Rule meets Metallica.
This weekend, we finished our summer festival season by making the journey to the Isle of Wight for Bestival. Now in its seventh year, the event has become an essential addition to many summer diaries with around 50,000 eager revelers making the journey across the water. As always, fancy dress was the order of the weekend; with a large majority of attendees – including many of the bands – adhering to the ‘Fantasy’ theme for the event bathing the site in an array of colour. The festival’s curator, Radio 1’s Rob Da Bank, once again ensured the weekend went off with a bang. With a line up that encompassed some of the biggest artists and DJ’s plus a number of one off performances that keep this festival so unique.
Headlining the event’s main stage this year were the Prince of Grime, turned permanent chart botherer, Dizzee Rascal, American indie Godfathers The Flaming Lips and, providing one of Bestivals most raucous send offs, dance legends The Prodigy. However this was only the tip of the iceberg, with hundreds of other bands and DJ’s providing countless line up clashes across the weekend. Whether it was the draw of the Big Top, or the fire breathing chaos of Arcadia; Bestival provided a weekend of unbridled madness that already has us counting down the days till next year.
Despite the rather tepid reception global audiences gave to her latest English album ‘She Wolf’, Shakira has remained unstoppable and is now ready to go back to her roots in her new Spanish language album ‘Sale El Sol’ (The Sun Comes Out). The Colombian superstar who stormed the global charts last July with the World Cup anthem ‘Waka Waka’ is ready to once more steal this summer’s spotlight right before it ends with her new tropical-flavoured track ‘Loca’.
Originally a meringue hit by Dominican artist El Cata, who also features in Shakira’s cover. The biggest surprise of ‘Loca’, though, appears in its English version, where an unexpected collaboration with original British grime rapper Dizzee Rascal is already generating headlines all across the music press. Shakira is no stranger to having hip-hop guests in her records; Will.I.Am; Lil Wayne or Wycleff Jean count among them, but it’s the first time she teams up with someone as leftfield as Rascal.
While some copies of the track have appeared across the interent, Shakira’s label swiftly removed them. For more info stay tuned to Shakira’s MySpace, where a version of ‘Loca’ – minus Mr. Rascal – can currently be streamed.
‘Sale El Sol’ will be released on October 10th featuring both singles in their English and Spanish versions.
This year’s Lovebox was noteable for several reasons. Firstly the event – usually spread out over two days – had expanded to a three day festival, with eager revelers able to kick proceedings off on the Friday. Another factor that worked in Lovebox’s favour this year was the flawless weather. London has recently experienced an enviable amount of sunshine, something that was obviously lapped up by this year’s attendees. Add this to a bulging list of amazing bands, performers and DJ’s and you get what turned out to be a spectacular weekend for all involved. The strength of Lovebox has always been its ability to attract a genre defying, wide ranging line up and this year was no different. Click on the link below to read our full run down of the weekend.
In the extremely unlikely event that you haven’t already noticed, today sees the start of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. As usual anticipation for the event has reached feverish levels as England prepare for their first match against the U.S.A. on Saturday. Traditionally the event inspires a cross section of musicians (and even footballers themselves) to produce musical works that hope to evoke the passion of the occasion.
While every major national team will have their own individual tracks, the concept of a World Cup song seems to take particular resonance with England fans. From the 1970’s squad rabble rousing ‘Back Home’ to New Order’s timeless ‘World In Motion’ – featuring John Barnes’ era defining rap - every major tournament sees a host of artists all vying to conceive the year’s defining anthem.
However, for this year’s tournament things are a little different. In keeping with manager Fabio Capello’s no nonsense approach to management, the Italian has stopped an official theme for this year’s tournament. Undeterred by this, several artists have chanced their hand and tried to capture the public’s imagination before the tournament kicks off. Here are a few of the most interesting attempts:
Dizzee Rascal was the main man last summer in Britain. His singles ‘Bonkers’ and ‘Holiday’ were inescapable throughout the hotter months, while Dizzee’s performances at festivals – particularly Glastonbury – were among the most talked about of the year.
His latest track, ‘Dirtee Disco’, continues the fun loving and dance influenced vein established in recent collaborations with Armand Van Helden and Calvin Harris. A far cry from Dizzee’s early angst ridden grime tracks, ‘Dirtee Disco’ is a summery floor filler built around a filtered house beat and lyrics about boozing and chasing women. Although Dizzee’s switch to quite unashamedly pop influenced sounds may scare off some of his early die-hard following, ‘Dirtee Disco’ is guaranteed to make up a ridiculously rabble rousing part of his live sets over the course of the coming months
‘Dirtee Disco’ is released 24th May and could well feature as part of a forthcoming reissue of Dizzee’s last album, ‘Tounge N’ Cheek’.
Head to Dizzee Rascal’s Myspace for more info and to check the track very soon.
London’s Lovebox festival has now confirmed several acts for this year’s event, including some stellar headline performers. The announcement will no doubt cause gig goers problems in deciding which festival to pick this summer. The weekend, curated by Groove Armada’s Andy Cato and Tom Findlay, has pulled a real coup in securing Roxy Music’s services on the Saturday. Lead singer Brian Ferry commented “There is a song on my album that I have co-written with my friends Groove Armada. They asked me if Roxy would like to perform at Lovebox. We of course thought it would be cool”. The influential 80’s band join Dizzee Rascal and the irrepressible Grace Jones as the events headliners, with the festival now expanding to three days.
Taking place in Victoria Park on the 16th-18th July, the weekend will also see performances from the likes of Hot Chip, Mark Ronson & The Business and Empire Of The Sun – making their first UK appearance. Other notable acts playing are Canadian synth demons Chromeo, Cut Copy, Wild Beasts and Hercules & Love Affair. However anyone whos been to Lovebox will know it’s not just about the bands, the weekend also boasts a fine array of DJ talent including Crookers, Booka Shade and Joy Orbison. For tickets and full line up info, head to the Lovebox site.
Now in its seventh year, Rob Da Bank’s Bestival continues to stand out among the wealth of festivals that take place over the summer. After 2009’s crowd were wowed by German electro pioneers Kraftwerk, expectations were certainly high for this year. Thankfully the Radio 1 DJ has pulled yet another stroke of organisational genius and has come back with a veritable feast of musical goodness. This year’s event takes place on the Isle Of Wight on the 9th to 12th September. Headlining the opening day will be East London’s own Prince of Grime, Dizzee Rascal. Stepping up to the headline slot will surely be no problem for the rapper and no surprise for anyone who witnessed the reaction ‘Bonkers’ received during his Glastonbury set last summer. Also playing will be psychedelic pop masters The Flaming Lips, whose enchanting stage show will no doubt fit in perfectly with the festivals trippy aesthetics.
Making their fifth festival outing at this year’s event will be Hot Chip, whose appearance comes hot on the heels of fourth album, ‘One Life Stand’. If that wasn’t enough, LCD Soundsystem will also be showcasing tracks from their highly anticipated third – and rumoured to be final – album.
As always with Bestival, the headliners are just a small portion of what you will witness over the weekend; with many other bands and DJ’s equally vying for your attention amongst the masses of fancy dressed revellers and unexpected sideshow attractions. The list of acts is already jaw dropping and as the event isn’t until September – it’s only going to get better. For the full line up and ticket info, head to the Bestival website.
Dizzee Rascal’s self produced debut ‘Boy In Da Corner’ crystallised all that was urgent, raw and relevant about British urban music in 2003. Springing from East London’s grime scene – which itself was a brand new musical mixture of hip-hop, 2 step garage and drum & bass influences – Dizzee managed to combine the starkly raw electronic sounds of grime with a viscously witty, often aggressive but always heartfelt delivery. Tracks such as ‘I Luv U’ and ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ painted a vividly dark picture of urban life but were delivered with shades of social critique and old school rap braggadocio that gave his album a wider appeal. Unlike albums from his contemporaries from the grime scene, ‘Boy In Da Corner’ managed to achieve both critical and commercial success without diluting the jarring electronic sound of the genre at all. The album remains a critical high water mark of Dizzee’s career despite the fact that the rapper has now gone on to achieve more wide spread acclaim with pop influenced tracks such as, ‘Dance With Me’ and ‘Bonkers’. Winning the Mercury Prize in 2003, the album remains one of the best examples of UK hip hop ever produced.
This week Dizzee Rascal reclaims the top spot in the Shazam Pre-release chart, removing Nneka who falls down to number 10 in the chart. Meanwhile new releases come from the likes of Muse, Mini Viva, Booty Luv and Duck Sauce – a track that was tipped for the top on this very blog over a month ago!