Dizzee Rascal at O2 Academy: The Rascal returns to grime roots

After over 15 years in the game, Dizzee returned to Sheffield to showcase his legacy and ride the second wave of grime.

After proving himself a chart-topper across a range of genres, there are a number of routes the Bow artist could’ve gone down with his live shows; whether it’s a performance centred on big rave anthems, dancefloor pop hits or filthy grime tunes, there’s plenty to go at. Tonight, however, was focused mostly on the latter – the genre through which he made his name on the UK scene.

Following the 10th anniversary of seminal debut Boy In Da Corner along with newcomer Raskit, both albums feature heavily in the set and are intermittently joined by a couple of his more mainstream hits.

Opening with latest single ‘Space’ before moving into classics like ‘I Luv U’, the O2 was bouncing from start to finish as Dizzee conducted a symphony of pure bangers. Further dark grime classics such as ‘Jezebel’ go down a treat with the nostalgia-seekers amongst the crowd, while the energy is pumped up a notch when we head into hit country with ‘Holiday’ and ‘Bonkerz’ for the encore.

Now heading into his mid-30s, one of the UK’s most famous rappers shows no sign of slowing down and can truly considered a master of his craft. Whilst his recent return to grime may not showcase the youthful brand of social commentary coming from Stormzy, J Hus etc, this guy propelled the first wave of grime to the mainstream and tonight we saw him ride the second; and it’s showing no sign of crashing anytime soon.

By Lewis Budden
Images: Lewis Evans

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