Dizzee Rascal has opened up about what it means to be a black music artist in the UK – admitting he feels the word ‘urban’ has been used to downplay the importance of black UK culture.
The chart-topping rapper, who recently clashed with Piers Morgan during an appearance on Good Morning Britain, made the comments during an appearance on the latest episode of Agenda with Beats by Dr. Dre.
Never one to hold back, Dizzee said: “It’s still never really been defined, ‘what is urban.’
“It was definitely used as a way to not take something as serious.”
Going on to explain how he thinks labelling of music can hinder the creative process, the star said: “It’s always happened. Even with hip hop, forever.
“You see the people that were making hip hop at the time, they didn’t label themselves hip hop, just like I never said I was grime.
“Someone somewhere said it was grime, the music I was making was grime.
“I was making grime before Wiley. Let’s put it out there.
“Before a bunch of people, it’s true. When we linked up our impact was mad.”
Agenda with Beats by Dr. Dre aims to bring together top UK artists and influential names in culture to discuss trending topics important to the local artist community.
“A lot of our stuff especially with England and black music, we’ve always taken from other places,” Dizzee continued.
“We’re super original in our own ways because we’ve got other influences from where we grew up.
“You see drill, came from Chicago, Garage came from Chicago, house all that and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
“When you look back at the history of stuff, it’s always happened. It just boils down to the artist, what you like, how you make songs and how they connect with people.
“There are people that go beyond whatever genre they’re in. Dr Dre was making electro but you know him for G Funk and all that, it’s just how it goes.”