Dizzee Rascal

Record review

Phases & Stages

Dizzee Rascal

Showtime (XL) It's a great time to be an epileptic, especially if you're in the UK, where you can bask (uh, twitch) in the stuttery morass of South London's grime scene. Merging spastic beats and computerized blunders into a sonic stew, scene gunfighters So Solid Crew and 2003 Mercury Award winner Dizzee Rascal have a field day rapping with eloquent abandon. With the mainstream success of Dizz and Mike Skinner's Streets, Brit-hop has finally eclipsed its Yank counterparts. Let's see Jay-Z or Eminem come up with anything as shockingly original as Showtime's "Stand Up Tall," in which Rascal employs his bombastic voice, half yelp, half sneer, over a Kraftwerkian Casio blaze that's as foreign to U.S. hip-hop now as Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet was to Brits back in the day. Rascal's strength on his debut Boy in Da Corner rests with his seemingly inexhaustible lung power; he can jam in full, albeit syntactically concussed, paragraphs where other MCs can only manage mere sentence fragments. With Showtime, the very idea of diagramming a single line is enough to cause black wormholes to open in the listener's mind – quantum physics by way of South London slang. Amidst all the beautifully bent language lies one insane gem that precious few Americans will note, the chatty "Dream," which utilizes a sample from the Damned's Captain Sensible early Eighties novelty hit "Happy Talk," elevating the absolute nadir of British punk rock to something akin to the heavens. Huh. He's just a rascal, a Dizzee Rascal, oh yes.

****

The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Ben Buck
Kilroy (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, Feb. 21, 2020

Fall Platters
Quin NFN
4NUN (Record Review)

Derek Udensi, Nov. 29, 2019

More by Marc Savlov
Marc Savlov’s Top 10 Films of 2021
Marc Savlov’s Top 10 Films of 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Freeland
Moving stoner drama finds the downside of going legit

Oct. 15, 2021

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle