Dizzee Rascal - 'E3AF'

7/10

The journey of Dizzee Rascal has been a rollercoaster one to say the least. After winning the Mercury Prize for his brilliant debut album 'Boy In The Corner' while still a teenager and bringing grime music to an international stage in the process, he spent the subsequent years flirting with more commercial elements of his sound, becoming more of a Ibiza house party act that an artist with his own sound. But after the bubble burst on that side of his career some years ago, his 2017 album 'Raskit' showed that he was more than happy to revisit his roots once again, and this new collection 'E3AF' looks to do more of the same.

One of the main things that standout on this new release is the amount of collaborations he has looked to pack into it. While he has never been adversed to the occasional team up, 'E3AF' features eleven guest artists across its ten-track runtime, making this a far more diverse affair than we have heard from him across his entire career. But while the notable additions all add their own flair to the record's sound, it very much feels like a hark back to his earlier days, where creative sound and high energy look to overshadow any amount of commercial appeal it may have.

Much like 'Raskit', 'E3AF' is a continuation of Dizzee Rascal looking to recapture the same magic of his youth, and for the most part, he shows us that he still has the skill to take any emerging MC to town after almost twenty years on the scene. It is a confident and well-versed return that gives us hope that he won't be looking to sell his soul for superstar fame again.

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