Rap’s cheeky schoolboy’s new album has just dropped, Dylan Mills a.k.a Dizzee Rascal has really come full-circle with this one!
Superman – Dizzee comes in, firing on all cylinders with the emphatic Superman, with witty rhymes and a Fatboy Slim style, robotic chorus. Those classic Rascal rhymes on display straight off, “I think we should start in Jamaica. Or maybe Antigua, I know a couple spots in Ibiza.” The flow on this one really does epitomise the best of the Rascal.
I Don’t Need a Reason – This track is so skilfully produced it almost rhymtically nudges you forward to head-bop. It would be unfair to say Dizzee’s sound has Americanised, as some have been describing, in fact the new style he’s developed has brought out even more the quintessential British-ness in East-London’s finest. Having said that there are undoubtedly echoes of Lil Wayne’s ‘A Milli’ in this one, but the man has evolved!
We Don’t Play Around (ft Jessie J) – This is the kinda catchy, club-filler that the scene’s been missing since Holiday dropped in 2009. Just don’t take it too seriously and enjoy! Naturally, Jessie’s stamp is well and truly enforced on this as well!
Good (ft Angel) – A much more chilled vibe, but because of that it doesn’t really work. Dizzee’s naturally so fast ‘n’ furious it feels uncomfortable, as though he’s been restrained, like a ravenous greyhound on a leash. As a collaboration the chorus is incredibly cheesy and it seems Angel’s trying to sound like a combination of Drake and R Kelly. Sadly not so good after all.
Spend Some Money (ft Tinie Tempah) – At this point it feels as though the album has taken a distinct turn for the worse. Tinie as usual contributes nothing noteworthy.
Arse Like That (ft Sean Kingston) – As long as you don’t take this one too seriously, (not sure how you could with a title like that!) then it’s enjoyable stuff, and pretty funny. But with some shall we say, objectionable lyrics, just be sure to never play this while your parents are in the room!
Something Really Bad (ft Will.I.Am) – I wanted to like this but quite honestly I sympathise with those who claim that Dizzee’s sold-out when I hear tracks like this. Will.I.Am, like this song, is always so hit and miss…if this song were a game of darts, someone’s eye would have been taken out!
Goin’ Crazy (ft Robbie Williams) – And he’s back! Perfect Dizzee flow, original, and who doesn’t love a bit of Robbie eh? Similar characters from very different backgrounds, thank goodness Example turned down Dizzee’s original request to do the hook on this banger.
Bang Bang (ft Pop Wansel) – Smooth and sincere, Dizzee questions his bravado like Skepta throughout Doin’ it Again. He’s essentially admitting the rapper lifestyle is one that he had to embrace to elevate him to his success.
Love This Town (ft Teddy Sky) – A back to the roots type tune that’s been endlessly recycled; haven’t we heard enough about London in the past couple of years?
H-Town (ft Pop Wansel) – Brilliantly effortless, a true head-bopper, the Houston Texas rappers Bun B and Trae the Truth bring refreshing guest vocals.
Heart of a Warrior (ft Teddy Sky) – Motivational mayhem, what Dizzee does best. The Rascal’s dedication is well described as he raps, “Born fearless, leavin’ when it’s delirious. Superstar and super serious.” Teddy Sky’s chorus is very catchy too.
Life Keeps Moving On (ft Pop Wansel) – Funky tune with some really witty lines. Uplifiting and amusing, perfectly encapsulated by the line, “She might be Scottish, either way she’s hottish. I know that ain’t even a word, maybe I’ve lost the plottish.”
Here 2 China (Calvin Harris and Dillon Francis ft Dizzee Rascal) – This is post Chronic 2001 hip-hop at it’s absolute finest! As per usual, Calvin Harris invigorates with the instrumental on this one!
Bassline Junkie – The poster single for the album. Loaded with riddim and rhymes, good to hear Dizzee still well and truly in touch with his roots!
Watch Your Back – Gritty, hard-hitting, anti-violence message to the troubled youth of the world to turn their back on petty crime. The sort of tune that’s almost been crafted for the soundtrack of Noel Clarke’s Kidulthood.
Yes he may have sold-out a bit, and this album’s certainly no Tongue ‘n’ Cheek but he’s still got that quick-wit, hundred mile an hour lyrics and this time accompanied with relentlessly tenacious production. As much as the tracks on this album are hit and miss, it will still be a hit!
By Michael Smith