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Dizzee Rascal Maths + English

After the blah-est year in American rap history, the U.K.’s grime minister comes correctly ballistic with the first classic hip-hop album of ’08 (despite it being issued overseas last year). The universality of ghetto tribulations is a recurring theme, whether it’s Diz explaining why he’s left his corner (“World Outside”), separating the real from the fake with Bun B and Pimp C (“Where Da G’s”), or waxing poetic about being a “Blackfaced Cockney/Ever so cocky” (“G.H.E.T.T.O.”). Microphone attacks come in jab-like flurries, riding roughshod over jarring beats that whine, growl, and shake with riot-inciting sub-bass frequencies. No longer a little Rascal, Dizzee makes the big-time MC grade while keeping his flow grimier than Bill Sykes.

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