An ode to Dizzee Rascal's 'I Luv U' - Comment - Mixmag

An ode to Dizzee Rascal's 'I Luv U'

Stil a banger

  • Dave Turner
  • 26 May 2017
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'I Luv U' wasn't the first Dizzee track I heard, though. I clearly remember sitting on the sofa as a kid, my older brother comically reciting the chorus of 'Fix Up, Look Sharp' the day after a night at the pub. 11-year-old me was interested for a while (even semi-starstruck when my bro said he'd shared a lift with the newly-crowned Mercury Prize winner at the local five-star hotel he worked at). Truth is, I was more intent on listening to the bottle-poppin' vibes of 50 Cent's 'In Da Club', a world a million miles away from a kid living in a sleepy Hertfordshire village. But to be fair, the scuzzy story of 'I Luv U', recorded just an hour away, didn't exactly resonate with a country bumpkin lad like me.

It was the summer of 2004 I got to fully appreciate the toxic goodness of 'I Luv U'. I know that because it was included on 'Essential R&B - The Very Best of R&B Summer 2004', a two-CD compilation I'm not ashamed to admit that got absolutely rinsed, either laying in my bedroom or sharing headphones on a CD Walkman en route to a school trip. Soon after, I managed to listen to 'Boy In Da Corner' in its full glory thanks to the discovery of download software iMesh. It was then I became a full Dizzee fanboy, taken in by the hard-hitting bars and alien LDN slang.

It might be the obvious choice from the album, but there's no denying the devastation it causes when played in the rave. It sends house parties into havoc, fucks up festivals (seeing DJ EZ trigger a mass of bouncing bodies at Outlook Festival 2015 is a particularly fond memory) and initiated the biggest roar of the night when Dizzee performed the entirety of 'Boy In Da Corner' live in London for the first time earlier this year.

On top of giving me so many fun, frenzied memories, the main reason I'm so attached to 'I Luv U' is down to it introducing me to grime, a genre I felt I could call my own as young teenager. A genre neither my older siblings or many people at school knew about in its early days. A genre I'm proud to say I loved in its infancy, especially now as its flying high and former nonplussed people act as if Skepta and Wiley posters covered their bedroom walls back in the day.

Early Dizzee fans say he lost his head by going for the big time with 'Bonkers' and 'Dance Wiv Me', but you can't blame a man for wanting to hit new heights. It's all good, though. I (still) Luv U, Dizzee.

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, catch him waving a gunfinger in the air at a rave near you soon

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