Maths and English
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Dizzee Rascal - Maths And English - Cd
History has proven the U.K Garage Committee to be an ill-fated musical alliance. Self-appointed lords of the dance; MC Creed, Norris 'Da Boss' Windross and the Dreem Teem's attempts in 2000 to defend the garage scene from a new wave of teenage MC's and producers inadvertently incubated a new underground movement.
8 years later it's a bittersweet victory for the upsetters. Gone are the UKG old guard. The 18 year-olds have grown up. Some have disappeared, others are in West End musicals and a handful lit the touchpaper of the most exciting yet troubled sound to emerge from British streets in decades. Yet those who dreamt the advent of grime would at last present a ground-breaking alternative to uninspiring Brit-rap were maybe mistaken.
So here's Maths And English. Perhaps for the 21 year-old from Bow it's a wise reaction to a grime scene that, after brief mainstream successes (Lethal Bizzle, Roll Deep, Kano), is back underground, thwarted by negative press, politics, insufficient backing and poor quality control. As lead single ''Sirens'' suggests, a change of direction is on the cards. Dizzee's third is, bar a few exceptions, a hip-hop record with the world in its sights.
''Pussyole (Old Skool)'' is the most accessible song he's ever recorded; a club track with a Wiley-alluding second verse diss. Following dreamy opener ''World Outside'' - 'There's a world outside of the manor' - Dizzee's in party mode, introspection in moderation. It sets the tone for the rest of the album. ''Sirens'', despite all the gushing enthusiasm in the broadsheet press, is basically NWA's ''Staight Outta Compton''!with more guitars.
Southern rap legends U.G.K bring heat to ''Where Da G's''. Coming in like the kind of sparse, futuristic track at home on Boy In Da Corner before building, over swathes of crunk synths, into a U.K rap track you can actually imagine dropping in a Houston club.
Sidestepping Shy Fx-produced ''Da Feelin'' - genre-hopping showing it's limitations - the Jazze Pha-esque (Ciara, Ludacris) ''Flex'' and the Bugsy Malone-sampling ''Wanna Be'' are both sure fire hits. Dizzee's ear for a pop hook is more acute than ever.
With the exception of the brooding finale ''You Can't Tell Me Nuffin'' this is a bid for the big time. If that means leaving behind the insular scene that bore him then so be it. Not that it really matters. As if pre-empting the tedious calls of sell-out, on ''Bubbles' he states: 'Underground or overground, what's the difference? I'm the king'. He's yet to be proven different. --Alex Forster
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're looking for true big clash grime, with pure hate lyricsc you may well be disappointed. This is Dizzee at his best - establishing his own unique sound - though the roots of the beats and lyrics can not be denied!
Yes, this album is different to the past two - but its always all about developing, evolving and pushing the underground music scene forward. Dizee we salute you! Keep doing your thing, keep doing it real, and definatly keep doing it your way! Big up!
Of course there are still those old "gang violence" references in full flow but the juxtaposition of these references and lyrics such as "Pull your trousers up!... Read a book!... Find a pretty girl and settle!" make for an exhillarating listen, even if at times the ideas seem to jar.
Crucially though, there are a number of fantastic moments on this album.
Chief one is Pussyole, which is the finest songs of any genre that I've heard in quite some time, and excitement is also to be found on the likes of Sirens (think Jay Z's 99 Problems set in London) and Where's Da G's (which talks about "fake aggression" on the streets and includes the "find a pretty girl and settle" line quoted earlier).
As for the Allen and Arctic Monkeys tie-in's, they're good, but don't match up to the best moments on the album. And if I'm being really honest, Allen's appearance here grates on me for some reason.
And on the whole this is a remarkable album. The variety of it may surprise some, but it provides the album with the magic that makes it pretty irresistible.
This album is much better than his previous release (Showtime) and could also give 'Boy In Da Corner' a run for its money.
Buy the album and see for yourself as I think you'll be pleasantly suprised...
Stand out tracks =
Temptation (ft. Alex Turner 'Arctic Monkeys')
Wanna Be (ft. Lily Allen) - personal favourite.
Some great tracks on here but, maybe it's because I'm not so into house music (although I do love the Summertime one) but it doesn't really seem to hold together. I'll allow him the gimmicky Lily Allen one as he had 'Dreams' on his last album and didn't let it ruin the whole concept, but the Artic Monkey's track doesn't quite work.
Sort of going back to 'Boy in Da Corner' in the way it is pretty sketchy but with some great tracks like 'Pussyole', 'Where's Da Gs', 'Sirens' and Bubble.
Worth a listen but not quite the step forward I was hoping for
What's Lily Allen doing on here? She's fine in herself and I enjoyed her album but her track sounds out of place and she isn't well used as with Common or even Kate Nash's appearance on the new Kano album.
I don't really understand the Arctic Monkeys track either - seems like they went out of their way to do something together, rather than it being a good opportunity in itself, sounds like a very average album track with a sample thrown in.
Pussy'ole is a good grime track but nothing earth-shattering and probably a bit too straightforward for someone of Dizzee's obvious intelligence. We want to see him twist these things up a bit rather than come with straight aggression!
Sirens, Where's Da G's and Excuse Me Please are the good news - showing real variety and creativity.
Sirens is a terrific bit of social observation and has a really big sound - use it to scare your neighbours!
Where's Da G's is a fine pure hip-hop tune with a knowing west-coast synth, although I thought Dizzee sounded a bit outclassed rhyme-for-rhyme when put next to the very polished UGK MCs.
Excuse me Please is intelligent and minimalistic introspection, seemingly touching on the Jean Charles de Menezes shooting - who else has taken THAT on?
Too much filler here, though and as different as they are, it's hard to avoid comparison with the new Kano album, which is extremely well made and drips with quality from beginning to end. I'd like to see Dizzee give the tours a rest and come with something as well rounded and well-produced as that for his next album.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good cd to buy if your experimenting into Dizzee Rascal work, Sirens has to be my favourite. Worth buying!Published on 10 Jan. 2012 by Steve - Liverpool
There have been exactly 53 million hip-hop albums made, now here's another one from the man who should've made another innovative grime album. Read morePublished on 7 Nov. 2008 by R. Jennings