Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #58 Dizzee Rascal
The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#58 Dizzee Rascal
Dizzee Rascal, aka Dylan Mills, taught us respect for UK hip hop. Face it, there was little to admire at the beginning of the decade (assuming you don't consider trip hop or the Bhangra influence part of the genre). You could mention Ty perhaps. But you were quickly stumped after that. The early decade "Brithop" was marked by tone deaf performers with fake American accents. It was basically an embarrassing and flimsy derivative of East Coast hip hop. Then, Dizzee Rascal and Wiley hit. Suddenly everyone realized that the wet English air doesn't automatically retard ones sense of rhythm or style (not entirely, at least).
While collaborator Wiley was responsible for many of the early innovations, Dizzee rapidly rose to become the face and the voice of the movement. Building on a stripped down drum and bass foundation, Mr. Rascal layered a nuanced rap style and sonic drill and bass hooks into a force that was truly groundbreaking. Independently minded audiences on both sides of the pond quickly took notice, rocketing Rascal to critical acceptance and a Mercury prize when he was still a teen.
Dizzee is also one of the three or four most exciting performers in international hip hop today - make a point of catching him live. Also check out this video and our review of Boy in Da Corner, #91 on on Top Albums of the Decade List.
Check back tomorrow for the next artist! To see the full list of the Top 100 Artists of the Decade, click here.