Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dizzee Rascal - Maths + English

The 22-year old, Mercury Prize-winning, East Londoner Dylan Mills was at the forefront of bringing the genre of "Grime" to public consciousness. Otherwise known as Dizzee Rascal, Mills was born and raised in Bow, East London by his single mother. Without much success in school, Dizzee found his calling in a music class that saw him making and experimenting with productions on a classroom computer. He made these early off-kilter tracks for personal use to MC over due to the fact he didn't find suitable tracks in the garage scene. His unique vocal style is exemplified by his thick accent and fast delivery to the point where his lyrics are sometimes difficult to decipher. His production now is still equally disjointed which is juxtaposed to his lyrical flow. It's not typical hip-hop in the least that is easily danceable. With eclectic elements ranging from garage, metal guitars, drill and bass, and music samples from all over the world Dizzee Rascal albums have a sound all to themselves.

While his coming out party was made clear with his smash Boy in Da Corner (2003), his follow-up Showtime (2004) was not quite the same hit as it's predecessor. It was with great anticipation that he released Maths + English (2007) with quite a few collaborations in tow. The production on this newest album is more eclectic yet more accessible than his previous efforts. While not as monumental a success as Boy in Da Corner, this effort was nonetheless nominated for the Mercury Prize and has received very positive reviews from both Pitchfork and AMG while Stylus wasn't as happy with it. Stylus' main point is that it's "inconsistent" since there are more collaborations than on previous Dizzee Rascal albums, but these performances show an artist growing and expanding his horizons. This is an understandable progression for such a unique artist. One such collaboration with UK darling Lily Allen is below.

No comments: