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President Obama surfed to power on a hip-hop wave. Should British politics try the same thing to engage the youth vote?

First Night: Speech Debelle, Scala, London

Worthy winner comes home with bubbles with joy

Tinchy Stryder, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Tinchy's not yet into his stride

My Secret Life: VV Brown, singer, 25

My parents were ... business savvy, passionate, eccentric and loving. For 26 years they've owned and run a private school in Northamptonshire.

Album: Dizzee Rascal, Tongue N’ Cheek, (Dirtee Stank)

Those two No 1 singles didn’t happenby accident. They’re evidence of one of the most enjoyable renaissances in recent pop history. After building a fearsome early-decade reputation as an insanely fast and incredibly exciting freestyler on the London underground, then blowing everyone’s minds in 2003 with the blockbusting beats of Boyin Da Corner, Dizzee Rascal took a bit of a dip, the creative nadir coming when he sampled Captain Sensible’s “Happy Talk” on a particularly poor single from his second album, Showtime.

Streets ahead: Dizzee Rascal

The former bad boy from the East End has turned into a national treasure, going further than any British hip-hop star before him

Album: Dizzee Rascal, Tongue n' Cheek (Dirtee Stank)

It's taken Dizzee Rascal four albums to develop from cult exponent of a marginal London-based scene to fully fledged pop star bordering on youthful national treasure, a process that speaks volumes about the sustained commitment and support required to establish fledgling acts.

Oasis in running for top music gong despite split

They may be gone but they are not forgotten - recently-split Oasis are in the running for the title of world's best act at a top music awards bash.

Brian Viner: 'The band's audience comprised neighbours and a local chicken farmer'

Two years ago we hosted a concert in our living-room, which is not exactly the Hollywood Bowl, but it's amazing how many chairs, hired from the village hall, you can squeeze in with the sofas pushed back. Top of the bill, indeed alone on the bill, were the husband-and-wife singer-songwriters Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish. I booked them because I like their lyrical melancholia, the plaintive echoes in their music of Hank Williams and Patsy Kline, and also because Mike and I were at school together.

Summer Sundae Weekender, De Montfort Hall, Leicester

Some pretty sharp flavours

Calvin Harris, Picture House, Edinburgh

Is nostalgia catching up with us already, or is time marching on quicker than we realise?

Album: Tinchy Stryder, Catch 22 (Island)

Tinchy Stryder may be the second-biggest name in grime, but Catch 22 suggests he's more in the mould of Akon than Dizzee Rascal: there's little of Dizzee's bonkers charm about these tracks, and plenty of Akon's reliance on auto-tuned hooks and romantic themes.

Calvin Harris: How the non-dancing, foul-mouthed, anti-social Scot became the 'Caledonian Justin Timberlake'

He's a dour teetotaller, seems to have a running battle with half the music industry and couldn't care less about his image. So how has Calvin Harris become the toast of the dance-music world? Craig McLean finds out...

Poetry's life of grime: Why young rappers are the natural successors to Tennyson

As it celebrates its centenary, the Poetry Society is reliving its youth. Katy Guest went to spit a rhyme with a real slam poet, and saw the experts in action

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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back