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Boy In Da Corner CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 July 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: XL
  • ASIN: B00009WVWU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,157 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

On Boy in the Corner, 18-year-old East Londoner Dylan "Dizzee Rascal" Mills sets himself the task of melding British hip-hop with UK-garage. Both styles have an unenviable history of providing a sonic backdrop to violence and criminality, and both are subject to excessive scrutiny from obsessive purists who view miscegenation as heresy. So it's little surprise that Mills' debut sounds so paranoid, claustrophobic and unsettling; this is front-line music, fidgety, distracted and distracting. It is, in the main slow, stripped-down and awkward, recalling Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa, Schooly D and LL Cool J as much as Dizzee's UK peers.

At times it lives up to the extravagant praise many have already bestowed upon it. "I Luv U", the nagging single, is brilliantly conceived--boy and girl talking about one another without hearing, a perfect encapsulation of how disconnection is the norm, even if you've got two mobiles, a pager and an e-mail address. "Fix Up, Look Sharp", sampled from Billy Squier's 1980 rock classic "Big Beat", is as near as the record comes to straightforward rap, its joyous flavour provides a much needed moment of uplift to what is an often brilliant but densely oppressive album. --Angus Batey

BBC Review

The East End of London has historically produced fascinating life-characters whose magical mixture of tragedy, bravado and humour have captured the attention of us everyday sorts seeking a little escapism. The latest product of the east end is Dizzee Rascal; an everyday street-solider successfully articulating council estate pain.

Boy in Da Corner serves as a stark reminder that 21st century teenage life is a million light years away from the happy-clappy optimism that marked previous generations.

Musically, the Mercury Award nominee must be applauded for treading new territory. Ornament breaking bass thuds, quickly syncopated guitar notes and pained synthesizers generate a sound that is cold, unfeeling, regimented and confusingly noisy. This echos the mind-state of the embattled author.

For instance, the dry humour inherent in the ironically titled "I Luv U" coats a sheer blanket over the tragedy that operates under the guise of teenage romance. "Pregnant, 15 underage thats raw. But its your own fault you said the three magic words (I luv U), its a shame the kid probably aint yours". Similarly "Jezebel" as the title suggests further points the finger towards immoral young females who intentionally impregnate for entrapment and frequently commit adultery. The sarcasm coupled with tough beats lets the girls know that this is locker room/barbershop talk first and foremost.

Although a few tracks fall predictably into the stereotypical notion of young, troubled inner city male, Dizzee escapes the typical through his reflective and insightful musings. "Brand New Day", the most chart-friendly song on the CD finds the young scriber tackling the dichotomy between reality and desire. The light tickle of Oriental instruments and optimistic chorus lends subtleness to an otherwise cynical track.

Boy in da Corner encompasses everything that is exciting about British music past and present. Rascal's two-fingered salute to the monarchy is reminiscent of the stir caused by the Sex Pistols, whilst the sexual debauchery mimic's the rawness of early Rolling Stones. All this plus a musical palate of bhangra, old skool hip hop breaks and garage will ensure that this East End boy will become a star far beyond the sounds of Bow Bells. --Keysha Davis

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Anytime an album like ‘Boy In Da Corner’ arrives it seems to cause no end of consternation amongst the music press. Always happy to pigeonhole artists for the sake of marketing, hacks seem to struggle when credible UK ‘urban’ music arrives. It happened with The Streets and now Dizzee Rascal looks set to suffer the same ‘Garage’ tag. Make no mistake; this is no garage album (whatever that means anyway). Like Mike Skinner before him, 18-year-old Dylan Mills has taken the basics of a genre that is currently laying face down in the water and transformed it into something far, far more intriguing. Where Skinner took games of darts and the midnight munchies as his inspiration so Mills takes estate violence and teenage pregnancies as his.
This is a far darker proposition than ‘Original Pirate Material’ though. Dizzee sees himself as an outsider; the opening track makes this abundantly clear. On the opening line of the opening track, ‘Sittin Here’ Dizzee tells us, “I’m sitting here, I ain’t saying much, I just think / and my eyes don’t move left or right, they just blink.” For 18 years, Mills sounds remarkably mature, and sounds almost like an elder statesman of the streets when he whispers memories of playing football in the streets, before he yields to the feeling that there will be, “no positive change.” This feeling of hopelessness rears its ugly head again on ‘Brand New Day’. Over a dizzying wind chime sample, Dizzee reminisces, “We used to fight with kids from other estates / now eight millimetres settle debates.”
Though just shy of an hour in length, Dizzee manages to cram in a huge assortment of topics.
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By A Customer on 26 April 2004
Format: Audio CD
As a huge garage lover since about 1995 I've seen the scene change forbetter and worse. This change to a so called 'grimey garage'had thepotential to kill off what was fast becoming a commercial scene. As alover of hip hop as well I've found parallels between the two scenes andthat parallel is Dizzee Rascal. It's not hip hop and not garage but thegreat thing about garage is it's not a genre it's sub sections inside agenre best summed up by Wiley in his track 'what do u call it'. This albumis fantastic, sometimes very simple but creative and I think a lot ofAmercians have started to over complicate their music and their lyricshave become predictable as in they're from the ghetto etc. We know thatbut what dizzee does here is not tell people of his background but roleplays with situations that make you realise where he's from. I was bornand lived in the East End (Bow) and this sound is the London sound, the UKsound that is unique. Dizzee's work shows flair and genius, his word playand beats all compliment each other. 'I luv u' shows awareness ofsituation and a word play that is ingenius. The album is entertaining,thoughtful and his style and he will be huge in the US because they arecrying out for a change, whereas here we are always changing and dizzee isthe forerunner. What do you call it? I call it Dizzee.
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Format: Audio CD
Dizze rascal has done well not to follow the lead of other acts like Big Brovaz and misteeq, who attempt to sound like their AMerican counter-parts on their records. The production on 'Boy in Da Corner' is raw and stripped down, a far cry from the generic sounding hip hop garage beats we have become all too familiar with in recent years. The great thing about this album is that you cannot classify under one genre of music, its not garage not hip hop. The sound is undoubtedly ground-breaking, like nothing I've heard before. Dizzee mcs on all the album tracks with 2 guests and produces most of the tracks.
'Boy in Da corner' has the edge and rebellion of a punk album. the difference is that it is the sound of the UK in 2003 not in the 1970s.
The standout tracks for me are 'cut'em off' and 'round we go'.
On these tracks dizzee expresses his mistrust of the people around him. On 'round we go' he describes what he thinks of teenage love- he doesnt think it exists. He says 'aint no love ting here, just 1 big cycle here'
Every track on this album is a gem. This cd comes highly recommended, the most original UK artist to emerge for a long time.
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Format: Audio CD
It's nearly been 10 years since Dizzee Rascal burst on to the scene and his newer material is being met with grim faces and even grimmer comments from his fans. His own style of pop with an urban twist, aided by production from some of the biggest DJs and producers around at the moment, comes as a stark contrast to this gritty, discomforting debut which originally propelled Dizzee and the entire grime genre into the limelight.

The urban scene of the UK has changed massively in the UK, and the music has too. It is rare to hear such an edgy commentary of council estate life and times from an artist with unashamedly brazen stories of violence, crime and sex. It's easy to dismiss these topics as the vile thoughts of an out-of-sync teen but you would be dismissing these at your own peril. The early grime painted a clear picture of the social issues in those times and Boy In Da Corner steps out farther than most by covering a wide spectrum viewed through youthful eyes. But it's not only the lyrics but also the production that make sure that you can never sit comfortably in your seat when you're listening to this.

It's the fact that what you're listening to is real, true and still happening that sends tingles down your spine and encourage you to listen on. Despite the social changes we've seen and the changes in the type of music we're now seeing coming from the same sort of areas Dizzee grew up in, this album still acts as an accurate periscope, peering over the wall into a way of life that has very much been swept under the rug and out of view by society.
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