Review of Maths & English Album by Dizzee Rascal

Dizzee Rascal
Maths & English
Album Review

Dizzee Rascal Maths & English Album

Success changes people, no matter where you are from and for Dizzee Rascal (Dylan Mills), honours that includes a Mercury Prize has changed his perspective. Through the bristling, atmospheric implanted 'World Outside', he also wants to change the perspective of those with similar, humble roots to himself;

"I'm from the street, you're from the street, we all done dirt.
Now it's time to flip the script, f*@k the suffering and the hurt, cos I seen the bigger picture.
It's all good; there really is a world outside of the hood."

A celebrity strut that seeped into Snoop Dogg's material at a similar stage in his career, climbs into the flamboyant 'Pussyole, Old School" and the angst does seem a little forced. However, the ambient glitter makes it seem like music's equivalent to donning bling and there is still an underground tint that keeps Dizzee real. The anger and fire that helped this urban artist blaze through the competition is still prevalent. This is mainly directed at fakes and phonies and is at its most prevalent in the LL Cool J kick of 'Where's Da G's'. The beats are still rugged, but they are polished by fluorescent production that sometimes gives off a lounge element, as in 'Suk My Dik', before a shivering bass touch takes over and the haughty irreverence builds up.

Rhyming couplets pounce out from a pit of confidence and street-wise observations, showing that your roots are always with you. An R N' B slant is given to 'Flex' to represent a change in direction and a bold step for an MC of this ilk. It continues into 'D4 Feeling' that also draws out a soothing and soulful, femme vocal tag. Lilly Allen kindly took time off from her verbal spat with Amy Winehouse, to lend a flirty and provocative 'Bugsy Malone' pop touch to 'Wanna Be', contrasting neatly with Mills' strutting, street touch.

With the range growing, but the street/underground vibe still very much in the mix, these fourteen tracks represent a sort of coming of age for Dizzee Rascal.

David Adair

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