Dizzee Rascal performing his Boy In Da Corner – 20 Years Of Dizzee Rascal Tour at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Friday 6th October 2023.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Legendary London grime rapper Dizzee Rascal was at the Motorpoint Arena on Friday night for the first of only three UK dates and it was a packed crowd that showed their appreciation.

Dizzee, real name Dylan Mills has largely been out of the public eye since his 2022 conviction (and unsuccessful appeal against) assaulting his ex-partner. Recent headlines, like the report earlier this year that his song Dance Wiv Me had been removed from the Governments Coronation Playlist on Spotify, have not been the sort he would want to make. But before this crowd he was back in his prime as he moved around the stage with all of the energy of an excited child.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut and Mercury Prize winning album, Boy In Da Corner, his set consisted mainly of songs from that album. Beginning with Sittin’ Here, he then bounded through the staccato punches of Stop Dat and I Luv U. This music with its bass lines, sampling and sound effects sounded so futuristic when it was released twenty years ago that two decades on it still hasn’t aged a bit.

Singing in front of screens that featured a slideshow of photos of fellow MCs and peers including Esco, Stormin and DJ Scholar who have died over the years, he delivered the likes of Cut ‘Em Off, Hold Ya Mouf, Jus’ A Rascal and Fix Up Look Sharp with its cavernous groove and operatic theme tune which went down a storm.

After a brief interlude he returned to fist pump his way through newer songs such as his massive hits Bassline Junkie, Dance Wiv Me and Holiday which had the crowd singing along before he gave a live debut to Sugar And Spice which highlighted his youthful energy.

Finishing with Bonkers, a song that helped him pursue pop stardom, Rascal’s ninety minute set had showed that he is still an incredible showman with his great songs and high energy performance that has cemented his place as one of the best.