Dizzee Rascal (nee Dylan Mills) is a name that most music fans on this side of the Atlantic may not immediately recognize. Dizzee burst onto the U.K. scene in 2003 with his debut album Boy In Da Corner; which was a head-spinning collection of post-apocalyptic Dance and Hip-Hop tunes that married Dizzees cockney-inflected wordplay. After another largely overlooked album, Showtime, Dizzee has released his latest project, Maths + English (Def Jux) through the cutting edge Def Jux American imprint.
Dizzee jacks the decibels on opener Sirens where he spits the chorus of Run / When you hear the sirens coming! in his trademark nasally English accent over a bombastic siren sample and frenetic backbeat. The track sounds like an old N.W.A. track that stepped into a time machine and ended up in 2020.
On Where Da Gs Dizzee teams with down south O.G.s Bun B and Pimp C (R.I.P.). The three MC's get their lean on over a metallic Dirty South creeper that has Dizzee calling out someones credibility, Liar, liar / Pants on fire / Youre not gangsta / Youre not street! UGK add muscle to the track with Bun B taking aim at fake thugs, Big Bun B is back again / Talking that sh*t on the track again / Too many mutha****as be lying / bout buying, selling, and trafficking!
Dizzee goes old school on Pussyole over the classic Lyn Collins sample made famous by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rocks It Takes Two. He spits some venom at a rival Wiley and forewarns his foe of the style of violence he may dole out if provoked, Blah / Dont let me get old skool! He rides a classic hip-hop beat and makes the track his own with his personal Cockney twist.
Dizzee enlists some other star power for tracks Wannabe where he receives an assist from British alterna-tart Lily Allen and famed drum and bass producer lays the foundation for the Rascal on Da Feelin.
All in all, Maths + English is a solid introduction to Dizzee for the North American Hip-Hop heads unfamiliar with his previous work and it proves to be a worthy addition to the always interesting Def Jux roster. Looks like its time to put down that burger and fries and break out the tea and crumpets because British Rap looks to finally be for real.
Dizzee Rascal Featuring Bun B.
"Where Da G's?