So on Friday, I spent a magical hour with Mr Dench himself, Lethal Bizzle.
Maxwell Owusu Ansah, who we know as Lethal Bizzle, is an English rapper and actor from Walthamstow, London, of Ghanaian heritage. He emerged in 2002 as a grime MC as part of the More Fire Crew, with their grime single “Oi!” charting in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. His debut solo single “Pow (Forward)” was banned from airplay and clubs. Although known notably for his single releases, Lethal Bizzle released his debut studio album, Against All Oddz, in 2005, followed by Back to Bizznizz in 2007.
Lethal Bizzle has blended mainstream styles such as dance music with grime, leading to numerous top 40 singles. He is known for his singles “Pow! (Forward)”, “Rari WorkOut” and “Fester Skank”, including other top 40 songs such as “The Drop”, “Pow 2011” and “Party Right” – all of which have been non-album releases, besides “Pow 2011”, which was included on his first compilation album Best of Bizzle (2011).
Outside of music, Bizzle is a social media personality through platforms Twitter and Snapchat, which have been used to promote his music independently. In 2012, he launched a clothing brand titled “Stay Dench” based on his popular British slang phrases.
Radio bans, being kept away from club appearances and issues with the police didn’t stop Bizzle. His song Pow! entered the charts at number 11, showing the world the new powerful mix of two-step, dancehall and purposefully menacing rap music which we now know as Grime.
The memories of the late-70s noise era this evokes are far from being the only parallels between grime and punk rock – as many have noted, not least Bizzle, despite having only arrived in the world as Maxwell Ansah in 1983. “The resemblance is really there,” he says. “My dad told me the punks just didn’t give a fuck, and I think grime has got that same kind of energy. It’s also about freedom of speech – one of those genres where you say what you think, talking about real-life situations. And there was no rules – anybody could do it”.
I recently wrote an article about Grime and why I don’t think it has “increased” knife crime as some UK Publications have claimed. Lethal Bizzle added the following thoughts on why he chose Grime, which was a brave decision considering his father was a soul DJ.
Starz TV Show Power
Lethal Bizzle will be supporting 50 Cent during his 15th Anniversary ‘Get Rich or Die Trying’ Tour alongside G-Unit across the United Kingdom in September so I had to ask him about Power (which you know I love). This is what he had to say.