Lethal Bizzle

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Lethal Bizzle
Lethalbizzle2-cropped.jpg
Bizzle in 2007
Background information
Birth nameMaxwell Owusu Ansah
Also known asLethal B
Born (1984-09-14) 14 September 1984 (age 34)
Walthamstow, London, England,
Genres
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2002–present
Labels
Associated actsDiztortion, More Fire Crew, Donae'o, Jme
WebsiteLethal Bizzle

Maxwell Owusu Ansah[1][2] (born 14 September 1984), known by his stage name Lethal Bizzle, is an English rapper and actor from Walthamstow, London, of Ghanaian heritage.[3] He emerged in 2002 as a grime MC as part of More Fire Crew, with their grime single "Oi!" charting in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. His debut solo single "Pow (Forward)" attracted attention for its aggressive content, charting at number 11 despite being 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.

Throughout his career Lethal Bizzle has experimented with blending mainstream chart genres 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.[4]

Ansah is also the cousin of former Arsenal player Emmanuel Frimpong. It is also speculated that he might be related to the Fana-born footballer Yaw Ihle Amankwah.

Music career[edit]

2002–05: More Fire Crew and "Pow (Forward)"[edit]

In 2000, Lethal Bizzle formed the grime collective More Fire Crew, consisting of himself, Neeko and Ozzie B as MCs. Their debut single, "Oi!", was released in 2002 and charted at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart.[5] It was one of the first grime songs to chart in the top 10 and remains one of the most highest-charting grime singles to be released. Their sole studio album, More Fire Crew C.V., was released the following year. Their follow-up single, "Back Then", peaked at number 45, while their third single "What's the Point?" did not chart. Soon after, the crew disbanded and Lethal Bizzle pursued a solo career.[6] In early July 2005, Lethal Bizzle appeared on stage at the final Live 8 concert in Edinburgh.[7]

In December 2004, he released the single "Pow (Forward)", also known as "Forward Riddim"[8] which was banned from airplay by some mainstream radio stations because it contained some lyrics about gun culture.[9] It entered the UK Singles Chart at number 11 in its first week on the chart in 2005,[10] and it reached number one on the UK Dance Chart. He won a MOBO for "Pow (Forward)" as "Best Single", and was nominated at the same awards as "Best Newcomer".[11]

Following the success of "Pow (Forward)", Bizzle released the follow-up singles "Uh Oh (I'm Back)", "Fire" and "What We Do" with Kray Twinz, Twista and Gappy Ranks, the latter two which peaked at number 34 and number 23 respectively. Bizzle's debut album, Against All Oddz (2005), was released on 15 August 2005. The album peaked at number 89 on the UK Albums Chart

2006–09: Back to Bizznizz and Go Hard[edit]

In 2007, the single "Police on My Back" charted at number 37, and was included on Bizzle's second studio album, Back to Bizznizz (2007), released on 23 July 2007. The album peaked at number 86 on the UK Albums Chart.

After releasing no singles for two years, Lethal Bizzle returned with "Go Hard" featuring Donae'o, as the lead single off his third album Go Hard (2009). The album was released on 5 October 2009.

2010–12: "Pow 2011" and Best of Bizzle[edit]

It was announced by Lethal Bizzle on Twitter that he would be re-releasing "Pow!" on 13 December 2010, to try to get the Christmas number 1 in the UK Singles Chart, like many people were trying to do by using Facebook campaigns. On 18 November 2010, Lethal was interviewed by Grime Daily. Bizzle revealed: "The whole Pow 2011 thing started as a joke. I was on Twitter one day and I said 'You know what? Pow for Christmas number 1'. And bare people retweeted it and someone was like 'Bizz you should do an updated version to go with it.'" Lethal (saying to another source) said: "I felt the original was still relevant, 6 years on it's still one of the biggest club tunes, so it was kind of a no brainer. I was messing around on Twitter about doing a new POW and getting it to the top of the charts- and the reaction was so crazy I thought wow I actually have to make this happen..."[12] Upon release, "Pow 2011" entered and peaked at number 33 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Bizzle's fifth top 40 entry as a solo entry and sixth overall.

The single was included on Bizzle's first compilation album, Best of Bizzle (2011), which was released on 27 February 2011.

2013–16: Non-album chart success[edit]

From 2013, Lethal Bizzle began experimented with musical genres, particularly with dance, dubstep and house music. Bizzle released a string of non-album singles without releasing a full-length project. He released the single "Not a Saint" with Dutch DJ & producer Vato Gonzalez and frequent collaborator Donae'o, which peaked at number 20. This was followed by "Party Right" featuring Ruby Goe, which peaked in the top 30. The grime-dubstep song "They Got It Wrong" featuring Wiley peaked in the top 80, and was later remixed featuring Krept and Konan, Kano and Squeeks. In 2014, "The Drop" featuring Cherri Voncelle also peaked in the top 20.

In late 2014, the single "Rari WorkOut" featuring Jme and Tempa T received notable attention due to the popularity of Bizzle's Snapchat posts of working out in the gym. The single became tied with "Pow (Forward)" as Bizzle's highest-charting single as a solo artist, peaking at number 11. In 2015, the popular dance-inspired single "Fester Skank" also charted at number 11, giving Bizzle three top 15 chart entries and three peaking at number 11.

The singles "Going to the Gym", considered a sequel to "Rari WorkOut", "Playground" featuring Shakka, "Dude" featuring Stormzy and "Box" featuring Jme and Face were also released, three of which entered the top 100.

2017–present: Lennox Rd and You'll Never Make a Million from Grime EP[edit]

In late 2016, Lethal Bizzle announced he would be releasing his first album after eight years, following his third studio album Go Hard (2009). The album was revealed to be titled Lennox Rd in December 2016, following a teaser for the lead single off the album. The lead single, "Round Here" featuring Giggs and Flowdan was released on 10 January 2017.[13][14]

In early April 2017, Bizzle abruptly preceded the release of Lennox Rd with the announcement of an EP titled You'll Never Make a Million from Grime, featuring a guest appearance from Skepta. The seven-track EP was released 5 May 2017, charting at number 79 on the UK Albums Chart. It became Bizzle's highest-charting album release. The second single released from the EP was "Hold You" featuring Mostack.

Other ventures[edit]

Stay Dench[edit]

In 2012, Bizzle started a successful T-shirt business with his cousin and footballer Emmanuel Frimpong, featuring his catchphrase "Dench". Since then he has been very successful branching out to his fans on Snapchat, that has led him to create the hit song "Rari Workout".[15] In September 2017 the social media website LADBible posted a video of Bizzle rapping with actress Judi Dench whose support for Stay Dench is credited with raising the profile of the brand.[16][17]

Television and film[edit]

In 2011, he had a cameo in the Adam Deacon film Anuvahood, knocking him out in the opening scene.[18]

In 2012, Lethal Bizzle appeared in the BBC Three comedy drama, Bad Education in which he competed in a rap battle with the headmaster.[19]

On 20 October 2013, Lethal B appeared on BBC's Match of the Day 2; after being hired to deliver a one-off report on the Arsenal Premier League match against Norwich City.[20] On 17 April 2014, Bizzle made a guest appearance on ITV2's Celebrity Juice.[21]

On 22 September 2014, Lethal Bizzle along with DJ Semtex, DJ Target, and A.Dot, took part in a special BBC iPlayer version of the classic quiz show Mastermind titled Hip Hop Mastermind, presented by host John Humphrys, which Semtex went on to win.[22]

Controversy[edit]

Feud with N-Dubz[edit]

He had a feud with N-Dubz over intellectual property rights citing emails of hooks he had sent Tulisa.[23] N-Dubz members Tulisa and Dappy responded with foul-mouthed attacks.[24]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
UK
[25]
Against All Oddz 89
Back to Bizznizz
  • Released: 23 July 2007
  • Label: V2
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
86
Go Hard
  • Released: 5 October 2009
  • Label: Search & Destroy
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Lennox Rd
  • Released: TBD
  • Label: Dench Records
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
"—" denotes an album that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
UK
[25]
You'll Never Make a Million from Grime 79
"—" denotes an album that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details
Best of Bizzle

Mixtapes[edit]

Title Details
Da Bizzle Mixtape

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK UK
R&B
UK
IND
UK
DL
"Pow (Forward)"
(featuring Fumin, D Double E, Nappa, Jamakabi, Neeko, Flowdan, Ozzie B, Forcer & Demon)
2004 11 5 Non-album single
"Uh Oh (I'm Back)" 2005 47 9 Against All Oddz
"Fire" 34 9 4
"What We Do"
(with Kray Twinz, Twista & Gappy Ranks)
23
"Mind Your Head"
(limited edition 7" vinyl single)
2006
"Mr."
(featuring Face)
2007 Back to Bizznizz
"Bizzle Bizzle" /
"Babylon Burning the Ghetto"
99 28
"Police on My Back" 37 11
"Go Hard"
(featuring Donae'o)
2009 79 23 Go Hard
"Going Out Tonight"
"Go Go Go!"
(featuring Luciana)
2010 Best of Bizzle
"Pow 2011"
(featuring Jme, Wiley, Chipmunk, 2Face, P Money, Ghetts and Kano)
2011 33 10 4 37
"Mind Spinning" 73 21 Non-album singles
"Look Up to the Sky"
(featuring Jamal Hadaway)
31
"Leave It Yeah"
(featuring Jme & Fire Camp)
98 40
"Not a Saint"
(Vato Gonzalez vs. Lethal Bizzle & Donae'o)
2013 20
"They Got It Wrong"
(featuring Wiley)
74 9
"Party Right"
(featuring Ruby Goe)
29 5 7
"The Drop"
(featuring Cherri Voncelle)
2014 20 3 3
"Rari WorkOut"
(featuring Jme & Tempa T)
11 2 1
"Fester Skank"
(featuring Diztortion)
2015 11 2
"Playground"[26]
(featuring Shakka)
79
"Dude"
(with Stormzy)
49 7
"Going to the Gym"
"Box"[27]
(featuring JME and Face)
2016
"Wobble" 98
"Round Here"
(featuring Giggs)
2017 Lennox Rd
"I Win"
(featuring Skepta)
You'll Never Make a Million from Grime
"Hold You"
(featuring Mostack)
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
"Maybe Ting Refix"
(Ozzie B featuring Lip E, Double S, Shocka, Flirta D, Lethal Bizzle, JME and Frisco) [28]
2010 182 Non-album single
"Flutes"
(New World Sound & Thomas Newson featuring Lethal Bizzle)
2014 67
"Man's Not Hot (MC Mix)"
(Big Shaq featuring Lethal Bizzle, Chip, Krept & Konan and Jme)
2017

Other songs[edit]

Title Year Album
"Leave It Yeah (Remix)"
(featuring Emmanuel Frimpong, JME, Scrufizzer, 2Face, Frisco & Flowdan)
2012 Non-album singles
"Not a Saint"
(featuring Donae'o)

References[edit]

  1. ^ London, Companies. "Lethal Bizzle Records Limited". Companies London. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  2. ^ "8 Out of 10 Cats - All 4". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Interview: Lethal Bizzle", Time Out Accra.
  4. ^ "Dench Clothes - Urban Clothing Brand (Featured)". Trendstar Clothing. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 378. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ "Music - More Fire Crew". BBC. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Live 8". Rwdmag.com. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Biography by Cyril Cordor". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 27 February 2009.
  9. ^ Hislop, Rachel (9 August 2012). "UK artist Lethal B said Jay-Z performed over his beat better than he did!". GlobalGrind.com. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 318. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ "2005: Lauryn Hill, Damian Marley and Lemar | MOBO Awards". Mobo.com. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Magazine Homepage - Glasswerk.co.uk". www.glasswerk.co.uk. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Lethal Bizzle on Twitter: "My new album is called LENNOX RD & will be dropping early 2017! Sneak preview of the 1st single 👀 ft 🤐 #LennoxRd #FatherBizmas 🎅🏾 RT"". Twitter. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  14. ^ "iTunes - Round Here (feat. Giggs & Flowdan) - Single by Lethal Bizzle". iTunes. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Emmanuel Frimpong and Lethal Bizzle release range of Judi Dench clothing". talkSPORT. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Watch as Judi Dench proves she is 'dench' by rapping with grime star Lethal Bizzle". The Telegraph. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  17. ^ Deborah Jermyn; , Susan Holmes, eds. (2015). Women, Celebrity and Cultures of Ageing: Freeze Frame. Springer. p. 152. ISBN 9781137495129. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  18. ^ Annika Allen. "Lethal Bizzle talks movies and music". Flavourmag. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Lethal B tweets about being on 'A Bad Education'". Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  20. ^ "Lethal B On MOTD2'". What's Good? Online. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Celebrity Juice: Lethal Bizzle & Jamie Laing talk sausages & dirty drizzle & WHAT is the seal doing? VIDEO". Unreality TV. Archived from the original on 29 May 2014.
  22. ^ "BBC Radio 1Xtra - Hip Hop Mastermind". BBC 1Xtra. BBC. 22 September 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  23. ^ "N-Dubz have foul-mouthed row with Lethal Bizzle at Soccer Six charity tournament". Mirror.co.uk. 2 June 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  24. ^ [1] Archived 14 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ a b "Lethal Bizzle" (select "Albums" tab). Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Playground (feat. Shakka) – Single by Lethal Bizzle". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  27. ^ "Box (feat. JME & Face) – Single by Lethal Bizzle". iTunes Store. Apple. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Maybe Ting Refix - GMTA, Firecamp, Marvel + Boy Better Know Refix DJ RAPH MASHUP REMIX". SoundCloud.

External links[edit]