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Dizzee Rascal: Maths + English

Dizzee Rascal: Maths + English

Release Date:2007
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Michaelangelo Matos | Posted 8/15/2007

A lot of bitching has greeted Dizzee Rascal's third album, and some of it is understandable. The guest stars do seem like add-ons: UGK's appearance on "Where's Da G's" works well enough, but lead Arctic Monkey Alex Turner's phones it in on "Temptation," and Lily Allen's turn on "Wanna Be" is plain obnoxious. "Suk My Dick" is as witless as its title, and while the bitching-about-the-music-industry song is a lot better than most songs of its ilk, it still loses points for being a bitching-about-the-music-industry song.

Still, much of the backlash, especially on the U.K. side, seems motivated by Rascal's obvious aim: to morph from grime up-and-comer to hip-hop crossover contender. Genre turf battles are pretty ho-hum. But leave the dross off your iPod--easy enough given that Maths + English isn't even being physically released in America, available here only as a download--and proceed to blast the remains, which are superb.

"Pussyole (Old Skool)" is not only brazen enough to revamp the Lyn Collins "Think"/"It Takes Two" beat but to own it as much as anyone this side of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. "Sirens" is a tense, chased-by-the-cops narrative over grinding guitar and open-bell high-hat that sits proudly next to Yank cousins like Ghostface Killah's "Run." "Flex" hearkens back to the PlayStation-beats-and-effects bubbliness of early grime production--"early" meaning three-four years ago, but you know what we mean. Dizzee will probably never really cross over to U.S. rap fans, but that's their loss, not his.

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