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Dizzee Rascal Boy In Da Corner

During his 100-stop tour of the US with Kid606, dj/rupture told me he was only listening to the Dizzee Rascal album, because everything else bored him. I knew exactly what he meant. Boy In Da Corner is so much more than just another UK hip-hop record. Rascal and his Roll Deep crew spent their youth breakdancing to Mantronix, MC Craig G and BDP on the grey concrete paving stones of West London, and Boy In Da Corner shows the torso-rattling power of dirty snares and handclap sequences. Happily, Rascal isn't interested in nostalgia-he just wants to make drum machines thunder through miles of council estates, and then top them with phrasing that lingers in its jagged pauses. "Fix Up, Look Sharp" really encapsulates the spirit of the record, as Rascal makes even Billy Squier's "Big Beat," that old hip-hop standard, feel like something you've never heard before. Make no mistake: this album is a mothership of British funk that will remain in hearing range for quite some time.

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