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Dizzee Rascal: "There's a Real Gun Culture in the UK"

The grime OG delivered some home truths in a new interview, about growing up on a council estate and UK crime culture.

by Angus Harrison
21 March 2016, 12:00pm

Dizzee Rascal might not be the loudest voice on the grime scene these days, but when he wants to, he can still step up and deliver truths – particularly, it seems, when discussing his back story with Americans.

Back in January he delivered a veritable history lesson on the origins of grime, along with much of his personal history, in an extensive interview with Sway. It touched upon a lot of subjects that are rarely discussed, most notably regarding Dizzee’s past and his beginning in music. He even briefly mentioned that time he got stabbed, simply saying, “Things boil over. Egos clash. Shit happens.”

Now, in an interview that went live towards the end of last week, Dizzee has further illuminated on this corner of his backstory – this time less his own stabbing but rather the culture of violence that surrounded him growing up in East London, shedding light on the world of council estate housing and small time drug dealing that informed his teenage years.

Drawing comparisons between the estates of Bow and the American equivalent, Dizzee says, “I hopped around a lot but Bow, E3 that’s where I’m from. I grew up in what you’d called government housing, council estate, the projects or whatever.” He continues to draw on these similarities, correcting the misconception that guns aren't an issue in the UK. While he concedes it’s “not as crazy as here [USA],” he states that fewer guns in the UK doesn't mean less danger, but just that, “You’re more likely to get stabbed.”

From falling in with friends who were dealing coke and heroin, to his first rounds on the mic in his bedroom, the conversation is heavily focused on life in London. While he’s cautious not to overplay his own story, adding that he doesn’t “want to paint it like it was super crazy,” the video still makes for a short but incisive look at one of young kings of contempory British music, and the climate that made him who he is.

Watch it below: