I never thought I’d find myself immersed in Grime. In a world of Hip-Hop domination, all Dizzee Rascal has to say about it is “all I see is hype.”
Dizzee spits this sentiment on his latest record, Maths+English, and it must be in reference to someone or something else; because this guy is anything but hype. The English accent might distract the ear, but only if you ever listened to Lady Sovereign too much. With Dizzee it’s not between love or hate, it is just obsession; the guy knows exactly how to string together a beat that fits with his rhymes.
The music is not quite the main stream aesthetic, Dizzee creates an atmosphere that is kind of almost math-rock, or I guess you could call it math-hop, with blips straight out of a video game and synths, all sprinkled over a crunchy bass drum. I swear, I feel like I am wandering through some Legend of Zeldadungeon during the first few seconds of “Paranoid” (while wearing a wife-beater, of course). Then, after the beat is set, Dizzee comes in with the charmingly befuddled English twang, which actually gives him almost a reggae feel. However, it’s not the mind-numbing imitation, i.e. Lil’ John, whose voice threatens to make our ears bleed. No way, Dizzee draws you in with his lyrics, especially the ones that capture the best parts about Hip-Hop’s hilarious sarcastic quips: “but I don’t care, ‘cause I’m the shit/so you can all just **ck my dick.”
Or maybe he is serious. Who cares? The whole record is ear candy, with crisp rhymes and flow that are as, if not more addictive as any of the chart topping singles out there. Mind you, this is an entire album. Dizzee effortlessly employs the typical devices of the majors out there; on “Da Feelin’,” Dizzee uses the stereotypical Kanye high-pitched background vocal, on “Suk my Dick,” he channels the shock value of Eminem, On “Wanna Be”, he features a recognizable British vocalist (Lily Allen). However, he does all of this brilliantly, and in his own way. Dizzee has a unique style, the voice, the rhymes, and moves like the use of “Paul Revere” in the middle of a track (and ironically, the whole melodic basis for “Suk My Dick”).
In a world of cheap rap, dime-a-dozen rhymers, and stale beats, this is a solid hour of delicious audio. I still want to know if he is mocking Kanye with “U Can’t Tell Me ‘Nuffin,” but as usual, I may be reading into the lyrics too much. I’ll take Dizzee’s advice:
“Just bounce to the music/
That's a better choice anyway, choose it/
Cause you know that you can't refuse it/
Watch the beat, how I bruise it/
Wild out and nod your head, stupid.”
Make sure to pick up Maths+English, now available in the US, and be on the lookout for a full length Dizzee video content feature right here on Baeble. - joe puglisi