Grimy, minimalist synth drops. Skittery drum patterns. And an all verbal assault delivered by a fired-up Dylan Mills.

"Sick of your status / Sick of your selfies / Sick of your updates about how you're so healthy", rants the rappper more commonly known as Dizzee Rascal.

Sick a Dis is a stunning moment on Rascal's comeback album, Raskit, a song that takes on everything from the government, to soul sensation Sampha and, more randomly, a girl called Bianca.

"I'm sick of this shit", he repeats again and again, sounding every inch like grime's elder statesman standing at the back of the club with his arms crossed, disgusted at the scene in front of him.


At this point, that's exactly where this Rascal finds himself. The 32-year-old is six albums deep into his career, one that sparked grime's first wave in 2003, thanks to Boy in Da Corner, his minimalist masterpiece that took out the Mercury Music Prize.

But Rascal lost his way with the cheese-pop makeover he gave himself on 2013's The Fifth, an album that managed to cram in appearances from both and Robbie Williams.

Just when grime was going harder, thanks to the likes of Stormzy, Wiley, Lady Leshurr and Mercury Music Prize Skepta, Rascal went soft. In hindsight, it's easy to see it was the wrong call.

So Raskit is a correction, a return to Rascal's grimier, murkier roots, and a realignment with those that have since stolen his limelight.

On Wot U Gonna Do? - a song that bangs harder than anything on The Fifth - Rascal addresses this fact directly. "What you gonna do when your fans don't care / Cause they're all grown up and they all moved on?" he asks, seemingly of himself.

Self-awareness like that gives Raskit plenty of depth, but songs like Space and I Ain't Even Gonna Lie will please anyone who's jumped on board grime's second coming. Yep, this is one Rascal who's in rude health.

Dizzee Rascal - Raskit
Label: Island
Stars: 3.5
Verdict: Rascal comes out of his corner