DIZZEE RASCAL: MAKE SURE I’M PLENTY LIMBER
Dizzee Rascal “Dance Wiv Me” (Calvin Harris Extended Mix)
Rebecca Balin asks Dizzee Rascal about strippers, superstition and his Dirtee Stank.
Where do you think rap music will be in three years?
Well, in three years hopefully the next generation of kids will be on it—the next generation of people doing different things with it. I don’t think they’ll be as much money in it as there was, say maybe five years ago, but I don’t know. I think they’ll still be a lot of good shit comin’ about.
What do you think the difference is between rap in the U.K., Europe, and America?
In America it’s much bigger. You’ve got a bigger platform to work from and a bigger industry to work with. It’s more ingrained in the blood over in America because it’s from America.
Any local U.K. artist we probably haven’t heard of but should check out?
The Newham Generals. They’re on my label Dirtee Stank. They have an album comin’ out this year. They’re a duo from the underground pirate radio scene or the grime scene in London. They have a really big following there.
Will they be the first release on your independent label?
The first actual release was my own song that I just recently done with a lad called Calvin Harris. The song is called “Dance Wiv Me”. It was actually #1. Number one for two weeks in the U.K., and that’s the first fully independent release to go #1 in England in 14 years.
How did you go about collaborating with Calvin Harris?
I met him at a festival in Princeton. We exchanged numbers and a couple weeks or months later I told him “I have some lyrics. Could you send me a beat?’ He sent me a beat and I didn’t like it. He sent me another one and we kind of took it from there. I liked, I recorded it, done a few things, and that was that.
The main girl in your ‘Dance Wiv Me’ video looked like she knew what she was doing.
Yeah, she’s a stripper. A stripper I know from—well, we kinda grew up in the same area.
Is she known in your town as a stripper?
She strips like a couple of days a week. It’s no big secret. That’s why I put her in the video because she’s a stripper and I knew she could feel it. She makes people believe that she likes them all day long, all night long. That’s her job, isn’t it? She’s gorgeous as well. She’s got a sparkle in her eyes.
Where are you headed to right now?
I’m goin’ down to the studio. I got an idea for something so I’m gonna put it down.
How often do you come up with new demos and songs?
It’s not everyday. It’s just completely random. Sometimes it might be a few weeks, or maybe a couple months, and then it might be a lot on one day. It depends.
Are you superstitious at all?
A little bit. I don’t know. Give me an example of something that people are superstitious of.
Like not walking under a ladder or—
Can you ask me something else? What does this have to do with anything? Whether I’m superstitious or not?
I just thought I’d throw you a curve ball; ask you a random question so people could know something new about you.
I believe in God, I believe in the Devil, and I believe in Karma. That’s as ‘bout as superstitious as I’m going to get. And maybe magic.
Magic? Which kind of magic? Like spirituality or pulling scarves out of a hat?
Both, I guess. One is illusion, and the other one is spiritual. Isn’t it? So I guess they kind of both exist. Shit exists if you believe in it. So I guess it’s all real in some way.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I like to have a stretch. To make sure I’m plenty limber before I go on.
If you weren’t making music right now what do you think you’d be doing?
Don’t know. I could have been an athlete when I was younger so I would have just carried on. Or I’d probably just be like every other normal kid, standing outside the liquor store doing nothing really, or just up to no good probably. If I was continuing the way I was before I had a record deal, that’s probably what I’d be doing. Or I’d be in prison.
Is there anything that you’d like to clarify from a previous interview?
Yeah. I didn’t make my first album on a Play Station in my bedroom.
Who said you did?
A few people. That comes up every now and again in interviews.
You’re about to come back to America. Excited to go anywhere?
Yeah, Texas. I’m excited to go to Texas. The last tour I did we didn’t do the South. It would be really down to get there again.
Are you excited to come to Los Angeles?
Yeah. The last thing I did there was fucking ridiculous. The crowd made a circle and all that. It was good. New York and L.A. It was good. I love L.A. It’s the first place I ever went to in America.
Do you have a favorite restaurant out here you make sure to check out when you visit?
You know I’m pretty simple. I like El Pollo Loco. There’s nothing like that in England. I know its a little fast-food store but I like it. I like the mashed potatoes that they make in there. I ain’t tasted no mashed potatoes like that anywhere else.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to thank all the fans for the love. I can’t wait to get out there again! Dirtee Stank’s the label.
DIZZEE RASCAL WITH HOLLYWOOD HOLT, THE 87 STICK UP KIDS, KENAN BELL AND DJ AARON LA CARTE ON THUR., JULY 24, AT THE ECHOPLEX, 1154 GLENDALE BLVD., ECHO PARK. 8:30 PM / $22 / 18+. ATTHEECHO.COM. ‘DANCE WIV ME’ IS AVAILABLE NOW ON DIRTEE STANK. VISIT DIZZEERASCAL AT DIZZEERASCAL.CO.UK OR MYSPACE.COM/DIZZEERASCAL.