Dizzee Rascal - 'Act Like You Know' Review

Label: Island Records

Release Date: 11th September 2020

Rating: 9/10

"Sharp and sure of itself, Act Like You Know is empowering catchy grime. Rascal at his finest."

Dizzee Rascal (via Facebook).

‘Act Like You Know’ is the second single from E3 AF, which is the follow up to critically acclaimed Raskit (2017). It was hailed as Rascal’s return to pure grime and the two singles he has released from E3 AF, make similar waves. This track gives an alternate taster, compared to first single ‘L.L.L.L. (Love Life Live Large)’ featuring Chip. ‘L.L.L.L’ rings through with a summery, tropical synth reverberating throughout. It was joyous grime which suited our unusually hot summer. As we hurl into the colder months, ‘Act Like You Know’ reflects the upcoming chilly seasonal turn: it is cool and razor-sharp. Rascal is still fiery; the lyrics don’t eschew Rascal’s long, celebrated discography of politically-engaged music.

‘Act Like You Know’ as a message reminds us that the graft of music serves to empower. E3 AF in its whole is a homage to what Rascal has called a ‘celebration of British Black music’. It is his first album in over ten years which is produced, written and recorded in its entirety in the U.K. In a time when society has sought to downplay and deny racism against Black people in Britain, the celebration of resilience and the legacy of grime is all the more eminent.

For this track, Smoke Boys are a perfect collaboration, adding multiple seasoned voices from the British grime scene for a multidimensional style. Due to the tune’s musical simplicity and repetition, the distinct London accents of each artist ensure the song isn’t dogged down by feeling too familiar. Each verse cuts through. Neither are the raps too fast either. The song’s pace, encapsulated by raw drill undertones, makes ‘Act Like You Know’ understatedly catchy. Fans can move, bop and rap along with ease.

Dizzee Rascal has been on the scene since the early noughties but that ‘rascal’ is ever-apparent. The song is thick with cheeky slang and Smoke Brothers’ Deepee puns the pandemic in his verse, "Catch em like COVID’ and ‘That ting’s bound to bang just like Cillit/ Swine Flu, catch and bin them and spill it". I am waiting for the whole album with feverish anticipation: almost dizzy with it.

Words by Elyse Emanuel.

20th September 2020.

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