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Dylan Kwabena Mills (born 18 September 1984), better known by his stage name Dizzee Rascal, is a UK and US-based rapper, songwriter and record producer of Ghanaian and Nigerian descent. His music is a blend of garage, hip hop, grime, ragga, pop and electronic music, with eclectic samples and more exotic styles. Best known for his number-one hits "Dance wiv Me," "Bonkers," "Holiday," "Dirtee Disco" & "Shout," his debut album, Boy in da Corner, won him the 2003 Mercury Prize. Follow-up albums Showtime, Maths + English and Tongue n' Cheek have all been critically acclaimed and certified gold, the last going platinum for sales exceeding 300,000 units.
Mills's Nigerian father died when he was young, and he was raised in Bow, in the East End of London in a single-parent family by his Ghanaian mother Priscilla, about whom he says: "I had issues as a kid. I was violent and disruptive. The way my mum helped was by finding me a different school every time I got kicked out, always fighting to keep me in the school system" he attended St Pauls Way Community School.
He attended a series of schools in East London, and was expelled from four of them - it was a teacher who first called him "Rascal." Cagey about exactly what Mills's youthful "madnesses" entailed, in early interviews he mentioned fighting with teachers, stealing cars and robbing pizza delivery men. In the fifth school he was excluded from all classes except music. He also used to attend YATI (Young Actors Theatre Islington).
He began making music on the school's computer, encouraged by a music teacher, Mr Smith, and during the summer holidays attended a music workshop organised by Tower Hamlets Summer University of which he is now a patron. His mother bought him his first turntables.
He was a childhood friend of Nigerian footballer Danny Shittu, whom Mills described as 'like a big brother.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments