Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Dizzee Rascal's modern age album

Dizzee Rascal performing at the Royal Albert Hall
Dizzee Rascal believes with Tongue 'N Cheek, he has mastered pop music

By Dave Lee
BBC World Service

From humble beginnings in Bow, East London, Dizzee Rascal has risen to be UK hip-hop's brightest hope.

Released in September this year, his fourth album, Tongue 'N Cheek, brought Dizzee together with some of the industry's biggest names - even though, in some cases, he never even met them.

"I got to work with Tiesto - the biggest DJ in the world," he told BBC World Service's The Strand.

"Mad thing is that I've never met him or spoke to him to this day.

"We just do this stuff over the net, send the parts back and forth, back and forth. We're in the modern age, it's all good."

Conquering pop

The album peaked at number three in the UK album chart and brought a string of number ones - Dance Wiv Me, Bonkers and Holiday.

I don't feel there's a reason why I can't be around for as long as I want to.
Dizzee Rascal

The chart-toppers were his first number ones since becoming a household name in 2003 with the Mercury Prize-winning Boy in Da Corner.

Leaning away slightly from his grime roots, this time around it was all about conquering pop music.

"I'd never really had massive radio hits," he said.

"I'd had critical acclaim, sold loads of albums and always done pretty well. Now I've mastered the pop hit."

Now Dizzee is trying to make the most of everything that fame and fortune brings.

"I love women and I love money!

"Some of the perks of being popular is that it comes a bit more than it would if you weren't famous."

After a UK tour which saw him travel with Lily Allen and conquer the festival circuit, Dizzee now has longevity on his mind.

The Strand is broadcast daily on the BBC World Service

"I don't feel there's a reason why I can't be around for as long as I want to and still be relevant.

"It felt really good to be on tour and just see that there's a whole new generation of fans that I've got that are much younger than me.

"I think that's one of the best achievements you can really have in any industry: to still be relevant year after year.

"I say to myself 'you're only as good as your last hit'. You need to keep coming with the product."

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