Dino Contostavlos

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Dino Contostavlos
Birth name Costas Dinos Contostavlos
Born June 11, 1987 (1987-06-11) (age 26)
Camden, London
Origin Camden, London
Occupations rapper, songwriter, actor
Instruments vocals
Years active 2000–present
Labels All Around the World
Associated acts Tulisa Contostavlos, Richard Rawson, N-Dubz, Tinchy Stryder, Chipmunk, Mr Hudson, Wiley

Costas Dinos Contostavlos, better known by his stage name of "Dappy", is an English rapper/singer of Greek heritage. He leads the hip-hop group N-Dubz. Contostavlos was raised on a Camden Town council estate, North London by his mother, Zoe Contostavlos and father, Byron Contostavlos. His father was the bassist in 1970s group Mungo Jerry.Contostavlos is from Greek origin but speaks fluent English with a classic North London accent. He does not think of himself to be "English in anyway". At home he speaks Greek. He says he is a "foreign guy that lives in Camden". He wears unusual hats. His trademark is a selection of woolly fleece lined hats with big pom-poms on the top and strings on the sides. These have been called "Dappy hats". He normally turns up one side of the hat.

Early life and current status[change | edit source]

Dino was born in Camden Town, London. It is said that he grew up in a small council flat with his parents and older brother. He actually lived in a large townhouse because his father was a member of 1970s band Mungo Jerry. In an interview he gave to The Sun, he said that the estate he lived on was "rough and lots of the kids I saw got into drugs or fights".[1] Dino showed interest in music from a young age. He started performing around Camden Town at the age of 13 years old. He performed with band members Richard "Fazer" Rawson and Tula "Tulisa" Contostavlos, who is his cousin. At the time they were called the "Lickle Rinsers Crew". Contostavlos and his band-mates studied at Haverstock School. Contostavlos was forced to leave the school when he was 15, for multiple truancies and fighting. He later went back to study at college and received a GCSE A* in English. His father, Byron was, to Dappy, the "inspiration behind the band". With the money he made from his time in the band, Bryon set up a small studio for the band. When Byron died, the song N-Dubz wrote "Papa (Can You Hear Me?)" was played at his funeral. It became the group's best hit at #19, and at #17 in the download charts. Dino later had the words "RIP Dad" tattooed on his neck. He refers to his dad as "B" or "Uncle B".

He is a housemate in the 2014 series of Celebrity Big Brother (UK).

Personal life[change | edit source]

N-Dubz were forced to change some of their live shows from the Uncle B tour after Dappy got temporary deafness.[2] He later said that it "was terrible and it has really taught me to take better care of my ears because I wouldn't be the musician I am today if I couldn't hear."

Criticism[change | edit source]

In 2007 Dappy released Love For My Slum with fellow UK rap artist Baker Trouble. It was number one on Channel U for several weeks. It did not do as well with the media. It was heavily criticised for a scene in which Dappy is stood outside a block of expensive luxury flats with a "rich kid" who is trying to look like a gangster. The Independent wrote "His lyrics combine jealousy with anger: 'You got too much to lose / You're in a great position... You wouldn't last a minute where I'm from / You'd go missing / So appreciate what you got / 'cos I'm still wishing.' And then he grabs the rich kid by his coat, pulls him toward him, and punches him in the face. The silent boy falls instantly to the pavement...", they then went on to put "Do scenes like these suggest that music videos are encouraging their viewers to indulge in criminality?".[3] Other newspapers put that he was "idolising thuggery". When asked in interviews about the single, and these comments he said "these people need to listen to the lyrics, they are about showing appreciation to what you've got".[4]

In December 2008, Contostavlos pleaded guilty to two counts of assault at Chelmsford Magistrates Court, Essex. He spat in a girl's face while drunk on a night out. He got four weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and 100 hours community service. He was also ordered to pay £50 to the girl and her friend, and £300 costs.[5]

On 29 January 2009, Contostavlos was arrested after he someone said he was saying he would kill someone while he had a gun. He said this is not true. The police searched his Camden home looking for a gun. Three days later (Saturday 31 January) he was taken off a British Airways flight from Edinburgh to London by police after it landed, with fellow N-Dubz performer Fazer, after appearing to be acting disorderly. A source said: "They were swearing at kids on the plane, being foul and threatening passengers. Cabin crew called ahead to the police, who were waiting when the plane landed. They were taken away by armed officers."[6]

Dappy has also had many problems in the media with celebrities such as Alexandra Burke,[7] Elly Jackson of La Roux,[8] and Flo Rida.[9]

His 2008 drunkenness has caused problems in January 2010 when he applied for a visa to the United States. He has since been allowed a visa.[source?]

References[change | edit source]