Dizzee Rascal insists he's still in touch with his roots.

The 'Bonkers' rapper grew up in a tough neighbourhood in East London, and even though he now lives in a more affluent area and is enjoying phenomenal success, Dizzee has not forgotten where he came from.

He said: "I don't know if I feel that distanced because everyone from that scene still listens to my music. They still talk about me, it still feels I'm a part of it even if they moan that I don't make that music no more.

"I've still got some of my old friends and I still go to some of my old neighbourhoods sometimes."

Dizzee believes his music and performances help people forget about the current hard times they are going through due to the global financial downturn.

He added: "There's a f***ing recession going on. People haven't got jobs, people are losing jobs - there's just all sorts of s**t going on. But throughout all this people are going out and partying, and partying harder. I want to create a nice vibe.

"When an artist puts a good album out there, the excitement it brings is incredible. It brings people together. That's what people turn to in times like this.

"I've done so much of the dark stuff, now it's time to try and make the happy s**t - an album you could party to."