NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT - Stand Up Tall: Dizzee Rascal and the Birth of Grime
In August 2003, in a makeshift pirate radio studio on the roof of a Stratford towerblock, the stars of London's grime scene gathered to show their skills on the mic. A decade later, Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and Tinchy Stryder are among Britain's biggest pop stars, while Dizzee's adversary Crazy Titch is serving a life sentence for murder. The towerblock was demolished to make way for the London Olympic site.
Ten years ago this summer, an extraordinary new sound exploded out of London's council estates that would change music forever. While New Labour were flooding urban Britain with ASBOs and CCTV, teenagers like Dizzee looked up at the gleaming towers of Canary Wharf and contemplated their own poverty; telling stories of devastating bleakness, backed by music that shone with the futurism of a brighter tomorrow.
It's entirely possible that Boy in da Corner, Dizzee's Mercury prize-winning debut, was made on a hand-me-down PC donated to Langdon Park School by Lehman Brothers.
Over 15,000 words, this is the story of that remarkable musical moment, seen through east London's unique history of opulence and inequality, violence and aspiration, and how a teenage genius with nothing to lose made the best British album of the 21st century.
Available on Amazon as a Kindle Single RIGHT NOW - or on US Amazon. If you don't have a Kindle, there are free, easy-to-use Kindle Reader apps for PC/Mac/iPhone/Android/iPad at those links. Here's a Dizzee rarity from the old days to keep you company: