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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 08:36 GMT
Rapper Rascal arrested in London
Dizzee Rascal
The London-born rapper won the Mercury Music Prize in 2003
Mercury Prize winner Dizzee Rascal has been arrested for allegedly carrying pepper spray, police have confirmed.

The 20-year-old rapper was a passenger in a car stopped by police in east London on Wednesday.

Dizzee Rascal, whose real name is Dylan Mills, was arrested along with the 34-year-old driver.

"They were both taken into custody at an east London police station and they were later released on bail to return on April 8," said a police spokesman.

"The driver, a 34-year-old man, was subsequently arrested for being in possession of a section five firearm - pepper spray - and an offensive weapon, which was an ASP baton, and cannabis.

"A 20-year-old male passenger was also arrested for being in possession of pepper spray."

Three other men in the car were searched and released.

US tour

Mr Mills found fame with his debut album Boy in Da Corner, which won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize in 2003, becoming the first rapper to win the award.

On winning the award, he thanked his music teacher for inspiring him, rescuing him from a downward spiral that had seen him expelled from four schools.

Next he hopes to make his mark on US audiences, with a tour in April taking him to major cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

The rapper is due to perform in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 8 April, the day he has been told to report to a London police station to answer bail.

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