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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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee