Dizzee Rarscoo

Posted by Dan | Posted in Blog, Misanthropy | Posted on 23-11-2010


There are many things I dislike.

One of them is MC Dizzee Rascal, an “English rapper, songwriter and record producer whose music is a blend of garage, hip hop, grime, ragga, pop and electronic music, with extremely eclectic samples and more exotic styles” (according to Wikipedia).  A modern-day poet, you’ve probably heard the works of this “boy in da corner”: they include the songs I Luv U, Hold Ya Mouf and U Can’t Tell Me Nuffin’.

There’s a lot about this creature I don’t understand: why he’s so obscenely famous; why he’s always playing gigs like Reading Festival when there’s absolutely nothing indie, rock, or otherwise ‘alternative’ about him; why he chose a stage name he can’t pronounce… but the question that tops them all is what the hell is he saying??

If a song has good lyrics I can appreciate it no matter what the genre.  To me, lyrics are the most important part of music and even the greatest guitar solo on earth won’t be enough for me to overlook an atrocious lyric (Sting, I’m looking at you).

Anyway, in an attempt to become more ghetto I’ve been listening to the lyrics of Mr Rascal this evening and wish to share my musings with you, dear Internet.

Below is his timeless classic Stand Up Tall.  It reached number 10 in the charts, and all three words in the title are spelled correctly.  I have taken the time to write the lyrics down, as you may have trouble making them out if this is your first time hearing the song.  In purple I have added my interpretation of these insightful lyrics, although welcome fellow scholars to contribute to my analysis as it got a little too much for me nearer the end.

Stand Up Tall

by MC Dizzee Rascal

Rascit wearing a car-wreck

Look, a still roadie!

The listener is immediately drawn into the story by a dramatic opening sentence, presumably detailing the scene of a horrific car accident which resulted in the untimely death of one of the stage crew.  The vivid description of the driver ‘wearing’ the wreckage of the vehicle is testament to the writer’s powerful imagination, and says to the reader “This is a poet who does not shy away from metaphor!”, bracing them for the imagery that is to come

Beyoncé covet a bean

and let me froo

Londis, what? You have a lot of stale cream?

Ain’t no stopping the ever-used bathroom

Ghetto metaphor, continuing the powerful imagery of the opening sentence but now dealing with the issue of poverty and starvation.  Rarscoo reminds us that even successful poets such as Beyoncé [See: “I do not feel you are adequately prepared for this gelatine“] once regarded simple beans with envy.  He explains the hardships of scavenging: persuading shopkeepers to donate out-of-date dairy products and living in public toilets

Live old leper with a wip-a-dip redemption

Biblical imagery of the diseased and outcast, looking to find repentance
world-wide cus I came from a big moose

Alludes to a Canadian heritage
No time to think “he quant deeswee”
Dizze Rarscoo held in a mega-kart moose

The moose, an important symbolic element of Rarscoo’s poetry, is here juxtaposed with the image of a “mega-kart”.  What he appears to be saying is “there is no time to think utter nonsense if I am to win this race”.  The idea of a moose pulling his mega-kart towards the finish line shows that he has accepted his Canadian heritage and views it now as a strength, rather than a leprous hindrance

East side mark in a pay-pwar rap
Never met anything like a say-ya-can’t-rap
Big up my north-west-south-east pack
every sexual with my connection lass

East-side crime let the crab go loose

Rise of Rationalism in the Eastern part of the world, causing them to abandon their beliefs in star signs (such as the Cancerian crab mentioned here)
Never had the desire for Chinese flutes

To which Dizzee says: “Good.  I am not a fan of Eastern tradition, and encourage progress over tradition.”  Understandably this comment provoked a lot of controversy, particularly from religious pressure groups and the political right

Big-up my midlands up those shoots
anyplace, hug-a-face, Cup-A-Soup crew

Note: The guy at the top isn’t actually Dizzee Rascal. I typed ‘Cup a Soup’ into Google and he was one of the results.

Get ya backside, backside, back off da woo
Sign up to the yup didsta Dizzee Rarscoo
Go to the half-way into the hoo
Pull up da hoodsta stand up tooow

Backside, backside, back off da woo
Sign to the youngster Dizzee Rarscoo
Dim to the half-waa, dim to the woo
im diddy hoomwa stand up tooow

Can’t run da maaarthon wivout trainin’
Or stretch the artwooo wivout strainin’
Too much hat not enough grain in
Whole lotta money you are maintainin’
Whole lotta cocaine in, no plan
lil’ more, no less, dan ten gran
Blingin’? I see a naaas in yer ‘an
Too much blacka an no’ enough LAN

(repeat, but add slightly different stupid words)

To me ease ard crew – get pay-pwar
To my westside crew – get pay-pwar
To my saff sad crew – get pay-pwar
I say ya play hay arr see you lay-ar


Oh me see you coming and you have a black willy
Oh me (indicepherable) and it ain’t fun
When I (indicepherable) and you get one
Midnaaate, oh daylaat, ibbidy bibbidy wibbidy get dizzy or get busy

(really could be anything) lemonade is fizzy

(something equally brilliant) smoke wizzy

penis, shenis, west-side negroes, whatever and something about the weather

{….I give up. This is not English.}

Comments (1)

I think the next academic analysis should be of Diana Vickers- every bit as unintelligible 🙂

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