Album Review: Raskit, Dizzee Rascal

Excellent effort from UK rap star.

Written off in some quarters as an inauthentic, ‘Bonkers’ sellout, Dizzee Rascal’s last album The Fifth was a commercial and critical misstep – so it’s back to grime basics on Raskit. “Brexit? Nah dunno about that. You mean Brixton?” goes the sample on opener ‘Focus’. No Corbyn shoutouts here as Dizzee sets himself apart from the upstarts. He’s in an awkward place – too old to be Stormzy, too young to be Wiley – but, as he says on the album standout, all he needs is an “ounce” of ‘Space’ to show just how good an MC he is.

He gets it too, courtesy of producer Dan Farber, who provides a sparse framework for Dizzee’s rapid-fire lyrical delivery. Borrowed nostalgia for early grime is dismissed on ‘Make It Last’ with a tale of witnessing a stabbing at a show – “Why’d you take my boy away, god help him please”. ‘What U Gonna Do?’, meanwhile, is a throwdown to all the young pretenders out there, with the rapper asking them what they’ll do when, “They won’t play your records/And you don’t get booked ’cause your buzz is all gone”.

It can be exhausting trying to keep up with Dizzee for a full album – but his lyrical bite remains as sharp as ever.

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