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July 23, 2024

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Dizzy Rascal
Boy In Da Corner (XL)

By: Cam Lindsay

There was never any question as to who would win this year's prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Only one name was being touted as the winner and it was Dizzee Rascal. Only 18 years of age, Dizzee has taken the hip-hop world by storm and finally put Britain on the map. After Mike Skinner's The Streets dominated the UK's underground urban scene last year, Dizzee is expected to do even more with his debut album. Boy In Da Corner is simply the most revolutionary hip-hop record in the last ten years. Already close to two years old, it's an album that tells the story of life on the streets of East London as a teenager. Abrasive, funny and socially conscious, Dizzee's lyrics are startlingly honest. Covering subjects such as teen pregnancy ("I Luv U"), street violence ("Brand New Day") and hip-hop's ego wars ("Wot U On?"), his truths are delivered in his own unique, militant lyrical style. In fact, everything about Dizzee's music is radically different. His beats are eclectic, anarchic and groundbreaking, to say the least. Impossible to pigeonhole, his production techniques include everything from rock and punk to RnB, drum 'n' bass, hardcore and ragga. The early connection to UK garage is clear, but Dizzee's beats are far beyond two-step. "I Luv U", which put him on the map, uses traces of hardcore to put a big bounce into his step. "Fix Up, Look Sharp", on the other hand, adopts arena-sized beats enhanced by a background chorus that wails "I got the beat, get on down!" Unrivalled, unorthodox and the voice of the underground, Boy In Da Corner is a flawless masterpiece.
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