Dizzee Rascal has been giving 1Xtra the inside track on life on the road, what he thinks about working with Noel Gallagher and why the strains of the music industry had him on the edge.
Dizzee performing live at Radio 1/1Xtra's Ibiza summer bash
What's a typical day for you on tour?
With this lot, we just get up whatever time, depending on how late we've been up the night before. Sometimes we might go to Yates', get the £2.95 fry-up. And then just jam for the rest of the day, do the soundcheck, then float about man.
What are you doing that's different to all the other British MCs out there?
I take risks. I'm into a lot of other music for a start, from early - actually from young. I'm not afraid to embrace different music and different culture and put it in the music.
There's things that I say that people wouldn't say. And just putting across my vulnerability as a person in my music as well. A lot of people wouldn't do that, everyone wants to be hard.
It's taken you a while to get like that.
My first album was like that, as far as music. I'm more relaxed now as a person because I know myself better and I know the industry a bit better now, I know how to handle myself.
Everything kind of happened like: 'Bam!' for me. One minute I was living on a council estate somewhere, then I won the Mercurys, then all of a sudden press and people were in my face. It's a very shady industry, no matter how glitzy it looks. I still to this day don't really trust anyone.
You're really relaxed now, I remember interviewing you before and you were hard to interview.
I had issues, you're dealing with someone who had a whole set of other problems from where I was from and a whole lot of other things I was dealing with while trying to be in the public eye and the best thing I could do was keep my mouth shut.
That probably kept me out of prison. That has been the history of a lot of black artists in this country.
What was it like to get your first number one?
It got boring. I'm never going to lie. It got boring, 'Are we still number one?' Ahhh.
1Xtra's Max meets Dizzee Rascal backstage
It must've been crazy.
It was amazing, it was a blessing. There was no feeling like it. We had a lot of parties. It just raised the morale, it was really positive. I didn't actually think it was going to go to number one.
You don't do many American collaborations - is that deliberate?
I've reached out to a few people and nothing ever comes of it. A lot of the time it's just talk. 'We need to work together man'. It's the usual innit. But I do it to people as well, so it's all good. That's the way it is.
There's a single on the tour at the moment, Bonkers, it sounds incredible. It's Armand Van Helden you worked with right?
Yeah, he did the beat and sent it to me in America. The way the crowd just jump up, it's like they know the song already. I've never seen nothing like that, not an immediate response like that to a song they've never heard before.
Will it be the first single off the next album?
There's a few other options, we don't know yet. I really need to get in the studio and finish the album as well.
Where's your head at for the next album?
It's looking like it's heading towards a dance album. I never know until I get in the studio. I try and have a plan but normally it doesn't work like that.
You said once that you'd love to work with Noel Gallagher and you believe he does not hate hip hop.
I don't think he hates hip hop. Maybe he just felt a way about Jay-Z being at Glastonbury or hip hop being at Glastonbury. He's into music. There must be some hip hop over the years that he must've liked, or Liam. They're party animals, so somewhere they must've enjoyed some hip hop track.
Would you still like to work with him?
Yeah. That's another thing to me like working with the Arctic Monkeys. Obviously they're older and they set their bar from earlier.
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