Dizzee Rascal has reflected on his past in a recent interview, opening up about growing up in East London, and exploring gun culture in the UK.
In an interview from last week with VladTV, the grime rapper has spoken out about the popularly misconstrued notion that the UK doesn’t have an issue with gun violence. While talking about the differences between the UK and the US, Dizzee Rascal explained that although the issue of gun crime is nowhere near as catastrophic as what it is in the US, it’s definitely present, though the attitudes towards the guns themselves are vastly different.
“There’s a real gun culture in the UK, for those who don’t know, it’s very real. It’s not as gun crazy there [UK] though… It’s looked down upon, it’s shunned.”
He does clarify though, that even though gun culture is looked at unfavourably, knife culture in England is very much prevalent.
“You’re more likely to get stabbed in England. Some people look down on that or think that’s a joke, would you rather be stabbed or shot? Either way, you might die. [Neither] of them are nice.”
When asked about growing up in a council estate and how that influenced his own involvement in violence and gang culture, Dizzee is careful to avoid painting himself as a straight-up ex-gang member, clarifying he was never a heavy player.
“I got mixed up in bits and bobs, I did. Now I’m older and looking [back] some of it was through choice, through boredom, through whatever, just being a teen. Just exploring. But I wasn’t too into that sorts of stuff. I don’t want to try to paint it like it was super crazy.”
He mentions that his true passion was always for music, stating that his love for the craft trumped everything else. He reflects on old friendships, pointing out that he has been forced in the past to cut ties with friends because they were in too deep dealing cocaine and heroin, and that although he sold “a little bit of weed,” he was never involved on a deeper level, and was certainly never considered a drug dealer.
Although the interview is fairly short, clocking in just under seven minutes, it still manages to show the viewer some insight into the life of the East London rapper before he became an international star. Exploring his initial entrance into music at the age of 14 and how DJ’ing served as the springboard into him becoming an MC.
Image: The Sun