DIZZEE RASCAL IS STILL IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN 

After eighteen years of ground-breaking music, the legendary East London MC reflects on changing the game and his plans for the future.

Dizzee Rascal wearing his custom designed New Era cap


Dizzee Rascal is a man who needs no introduction. The East London born MC changed the face of UK music when he arrived on the scene back in 2003 with his debut album, ‘Boy in da Corner’ – an instant classic packed full with grit, bravado and intoxicating beats. It earned him the Mercury Music Award, helped spawn the entire grime scene – which is still dominating UK rap culture to this day – and set him on a path to becoming one of the most revered MCs in the country. Now, eighteen years on, and seven albums later, he’s still refreshingly humble about his legacy.

SCROLL TO READ MORE

Dizzee Rascal wearing his custom designed 59FIFTY cap




“It's crazy to hear people say I set the blueprint for all these new rappers to come through, but at the same time, it kind of just happened. We're all just in our area of the universe... and at that point in time, I happened to be making music, experimenting, and it led to a bunch of other stuff,” said Dizzee in a short film made with New Era, in which he clears his head by boxing and gives more insight into his views on the true origins of grime. “Someone else is going to do it again sometime. So, as much as I just want to take credit… it was more that the stars aligned. I am proud so many people have been influenced by my music, because other people's music was what made me go on to make music. So, I'm just part of a nice timeline.”

Dizzee is one of the many faces on the front of New Era’s explosive new music campaign, “The Music Generations”, which celebrates the brand’s historic journey through culture by championing pioneering artists across all genres, from the London rapper AJ Tracey to hyped alt-pop band Easy Life to Dizzee himself. As part of their collaboration, Dizzee got together with New Era to design his own collection, which includes a black and yellow 9FORTY and 59FIFTY featuring the Dirtee Stank fly logo, and an exclusive GoreTex 59FIFTY displaying his last album title E3AF. “The New Era hat has been a hat I've always found that's just suited me, and I've stuck with it. I love it,” he said. “I've got storage boxes full of these hats. I've got no less than 500 of them that I've picked up over the years… There's other brands obviously, but I just think this shape, the actual shape, is such a solid, good shape.”



“The New Era hat has been a hat I've always found that's just suited me, and I've stuck with it. I love it,” he said. “I've got storage boxes full of these hats. I've got no less than 500 of them that I've picked up over the years… There's other brands obviously, but I just think this shape, the actual shape, is such a solid, good shape.”



Drawing a line between music icons and rising stars has always been a huge part of Dizzee’s career, whether it’s collaborating with fresh names like Ocean Wisdom on his last album or championing gifted producers like AJ Productions. “I feel like you can learn as much from the newcomers as they can learn from you,” he said. “Now they're the ones coming up with all the new ideas. Through being forced to, through not being able to get in the game originally, they went their own way.”


And yet despite being a prolific hit maker, both in the underground and the mainstream, the East London MC shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, he told us, his passion for music is stronger than ever. “I want to experiment, put some music out that gets people excited,” he said. “I think that's what I've always been best at, whether it's been the super underground stuff or the pop stuff… It's not enough to just be out here, I want to shift things and make a massive impact.”

Dizzee Rascal wearing his custom designed cap
Dizzee Rascal's custom designed black New Era cap

SHOP THE LOOK