Dizzee Rascal – Boy in da Corner

30 05 2010

Listened: Friday May 28

I don’t remember how I heard about Dizzee Rascal – I probably read about him in Spin and had to hear what a 19-year-old black British rapper sounded like. The answer is: like absolutely nothing else. He raps incredibly fast and the music and samples have a sound like nothing I can think of, certainly not American rap. He wrote many of the songs in high school in computer labs and the sound of the beats bear that out. Having seen him at Coachella some years ago I can attest that he is an above-average freestyler – he made up several lengthy acapella raps on the spot. He also pushes the limits of your British slang knowledge, even if you know a lot already.

Dizzee has a lot of the normal rapping subject matter – sex, violence, ego – but is a bit more poetic about it than the usual. Jezebel is blunt portrayal of what can happen to girls with no self-esteem outside of their sexual abilities. I Luv U is a song you’ll be singing in your head for ages – Dizzee and a girl bait each other about how the other’s partner is cheating on them and why they should do something about it, all backed with a sample chanting “I I I I I I Luv U” and very computer generated beats.

This foray into a genre of music I don’t normally buy was worth it.



2 responses

31 08 2010
Basement Jaxx – Kish Kash « Emily's Albums A to Z

[…] discriminate – their guest singers on this album range from Me’Shell Ndegeocello to Dizzee Rascal to Siouxsie Sioux to JC Chasez(!). And all of the songs work, no matter the […]

11 03 2011
Roots Manuva – Run Come Save Me « Emily's Albums A to Z

[…] the first CD I wanted to hear from a British rapper to see what the difference might be, but unlike Dizzee Rascal, I never got around to hearing it. It’s OK, Dizzee is better; I’m glad he was my first […]

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