Grime music pioneer Dizzee Rascal’s new album, E3 AF, dropped at the end of October to rave reviews. The album honours his local and international roots both in its music and name; the title not only refers to his native E3 postcode, but also can be read as E3 African, signifying his West African heritage.
In a true homage to E3, the birthplace of grime, this album review is from a current member of Spotlight Eastside Youth Centre in Bow, where many names in grime first cut their teeth MC’ing. In fact, Dizzee Rascal stopped by the centre when he visited Tower Hamlets earlier this summer.
This review is by Tai Cuffy, a local 15 year-old aspiring musician who loves to spend as much time at Eastside as he can learning about the inner workings of a music studio under the guidance of youth workers Aaron Williams, who co-wrote it. When he’s not working on his singer-song writing skills, you can find Cuffy at his school, Mulberry UTC Academy, or listening to a wide variety of music such as drill, Afro-swing, grime and hip-hop. Read his review below.
Dizzee Rascal’s E3 AF (homage to his roots) is the follow up to Raskit, the hard hitting, banger filled album where Dizzee shows those who thought otherwise that he can still bar with the elite.
Dizzee, with what feels like his homecoming, effortlessly displays his skills on the chilling, old skool grime sounding opener God Knows featuring P Money which sets the tone for the album and instantly you feel as though you’re taken back to the days of pirate radio when you hear That’s Too Much and L.L.L.L with features from grime legends Frisco, D Double E and Chip.
The heavy beats and 808’s take a break for the familiar sounding ‘Body Loose’, you can hear the return of the East End cheeky chap, “sweeter than a nut, sweeter than papaya”, combined with slick production from the Splurge Boyz with excellent use of the classic UK Garage Architechs sample.
The stand out track on the album ‘Eastside’, sees Dizzee, for the first time, team up with Ghetts & Kano who turn up and let loose; there are no catchy hooks here – just straight bars. This trio can run rings around anyone on a grime set.
The same can be said about Don’t Be Dumb. Diz’ once again teams up with Ocean Wisdom, a collaboration that never fails. Both attack the beat with double time flows and relentless bars, so try and keep up.
For us, this is a really strong album, the E3 legend that is Dizzee Rascal does it again. 5 stars.
Are you E3 AF? If so, you might also be interested in reading about grime artist Lady Shocker on the evolution of grime in Bow.
Can you help us?
As a not-for-profit media organisation using journalism to strengthen communities, we have not put our digital content behind a paywall or membership scheme as we think the benefits of an independent, local publication should be available to everyone living in our area.
If a fraction of the local 40,000 residents donated two pounds a month to Roman Road LDN it would be enough for our editorial team to serve the area full time and be beholden only to the community. A pound at a time, we believe we can get there.