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UK boy wonder Dizzee Rascal gets ready for showtime

Even with his entire life still ahead of him, it seems that time is something Rascal refuses to waste. He's already thinking ahead to his next album, on which he plans to spend more time perfecting the music, since he threw Corner and Showtime's beats together in as little as twenty minutes. "[On the last two albums] I just wanted to get as much done as I could," he says. "Working more on my beats -- that's the next step."

For now, though, Rascal is doing what he loves to do most -- perform. He often turns the music off altogether during shows and rhymes a cappella, he says, "to make sure they're hearing me, to bring them into reality, to show them that I'm really doing this live." When asked if he's always felt like a performer, the answer is an emphatic yes. "I've always been a natural onstage," he says. "I've been doing this stuff for a long time. I've performed for the hardest crowds -- street crowds -- so nothing phases me now. There's nothing like crowd response."

Rascal seems delighted, as if he's accomplished what he's set out to do. His audiences are a mix of "hip-hop kids, indie kids, Mohicans, and the pop crowd." People even form mosh pits at his shows. "I love that," he exclaims. "That's rock and roll shit." He relishes the fact that he can't be pigeonholed and that he's different from anything Americans have ever seen. "I'm one in a million," he says, audibly smiling over the phone. "I think America is ready for something new."

Dizzee Rascal speaks his clout from the streets of London to your hood
Dean Chalkey
Dizzee Rascal speaks his clout from the streets of London to your hood

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