Yesterday we were graced by a surprise EP from the almighty Dizzee, aka Raskit. An EP that takes us through some classic 2-step garage, quick feisty lyrics and home-grown grime samples that have been sourced straight from the golden sounds of the early 2000’s.
Dizzee’s Raskit project of 2017 was undoubtedly a demonstration of how the rapper could bring back his original pioneering style after a 4-year interlude since his disappointing The Fifth. It was trimmed and clean – complete with 808 bass heavy production and catchy hooks, heard most clearly in Wot You Gonna do? and The Other Side. This sound took up a space somewhere other than the gritty, home-made beats and cut up reverbs of Boy In Da Corner, however. Dizzee did stick to his heavy, swagger rich, and hard-hitting lyricism – “Chatting my name till this day and I’m flattered, I am not easily rattled // Don’t follow the cattle, so quiet your chatter or you will get battered.” He also carried forward this urgent message from Brand New Day: “MC’s better start chattin about what’s really happening // Because if you ain’t chatting about what’s happening // Where you living, what you talking about?” In Slow Your Roll he brings back this street perspective: “Futures bleak // They keep the heat in their palms // Compete and beef for postcodes and streets they don’t even own yards.” Although these rich traits returned in last years’ project, there was something missing that we were all so yearning to once more take a hold of. That bedroom-made, fruity-loops sound of chopped up production and wicked lyricism that made grime what it is today. This is most likely because Dizzee enlisted a number of U.S producers in Raskit such as Valentino Khan and Salva. These doubts can be put to rest, however, as Dizzee demonstrates in 5 tracks that he can delve into those nostalgic rhythms once more.
Dizzee goes straight in with ‘gas in his veins’ as we follow him in turning up the volume as gas levels reach dangerous heights. The track itself – Don’t Gas Me hits us with a 2-step beat that brings with it incredible energy – despite such a simple instrumental. The bouncing bass-line is reminiscent of the 2002 grime instrumental, Pulse X by Musical Mob with a softer hit to it. Dizzee’s lyricism undoubtedly makes this tune one for the Dance. He literally goes in with 3 verses that will have everyone shouting ‘Don’t gas me’ every single time. The bars that really make it come in are at about 2 mins 30 where Dizzee intonates the end of each bar with a high pitch scream – “Feel so good I might find me a wifey // Buy her some diamonds, have her all icey!” That priceless simplicity is back with a vengeance. The nostalgia is carried forward in Quality – a more laid back piano loop with a vocal taken straight out of The Sound of Music by Nookie – a big happy hardcore/jungle track from 93’! He reminds us of his OG status – “I’ve been doing this since face off phones with the 10-pound credit // Yeah I said it, and I couldn’t care less whose misread it.” As the tune fades away we hear an audio sample of a couple of old school ravers:
“Are you guys gonna stop ever, or are you gonna keep dancing forever?”
“Imma keep dancing forever, me, well at least till I remember where I put my car.”
The garage 4×4 beat is fully revealed at the end of the EP with Patterning Vibes. A simple short punchy synth, bass and classic drum kit is all that’s needed to underline Dizzee’s high octane, and, honestly feel-good vibes. Dizzee gives us a picture of himself waking up to a beautiful day and asking ‘Jesus-Lord please guide me – don’t let these pussios try me’ ‘let me know that everything irie, he says dunno that I’m your guy G.” Afronaut Zu, vocalist for Rudimental fills the hook with more exultation – “If you wanna vibe, come we can pattern it right // I’m just celebrating life, I’ll be doing this all night.” A feel-good garage sound is something that we’ve been missing for a while – say goodbye to Sweet Female Attitude…
The dream team was formed on Money Right released earlier this month as a single. Skepta joins the king – ‘Get baptized, make your whole crew capsize been bullying crews for days’ – a certified banger. That classic Skepta hook with the rough bass and soft flute in the background tells us that he certainly had an input on the production of this track as we’re reminded of Da Shine with A$AP Rocky. Now Spin Ya is arguably the hardest and most lyrically complex track of the EP with two strong features. The beat comes in aggressively with a grungy bass-line that gets mutated and lengthened at the start of each of Dizzee’s sinister hooks – ‘It ain’t on ya, it’s in ya – I bet you know what I’m on when I spin ya.’ A siren goes off as he repeats these bars with the beat giving some dubstep feels. P Money takes absolutely no prisoners in his bars. In fact, most MC’s may well be shaking in their boots after hearing his quick verse. “Tell em when I’m cheffing with this beef I ain’t messing Gordon Rams couldn’t handle the sauce // Big boy sets surrounded by dead MC’s feel like I’m trapped in a morgue.” In addition, C Cane gives a head-spinning verse to finish off the tune. The MC has some real skill, first revealing it in her 1Xtra freestyle in 2015 – we suggest you check it out. What’s more, her single Anti released in May demonstrated her skills as a vocalist with DS Gryme on production. Keep your eyes peeled for more material from this multi-talented artist. As for Dizzee, you already know how we feel.
EP – 4/5
Favourite track: Spin Ya