Saturday, July 19, 2008

Learn Your “Maths + English”

While the UK has always been a hub for revolutionary music in several genres, the US takes the cake for hip hop; until now. In the early 2000s in London “grime”, a new style of hip hop utilizing breakbeats and unorthodox sounds, began to emerge in the crevices of UK pirate radio. And from this scene came Dizzee Rascal, the first person to bring this new sound to the public.

Dizzee Rascal’s music is bold, not only in its lyrical content, but also stylistically. He has sampled everything from Rogers and Hamerstein’s South Pacific to video game sounds, and often does not include a chorus in his songs. This lack of conventionality is what has made grime a genre that the mainstream media sees as inaccessible to the average listener. Despite this, his 2003 album "Boy in da Corner” found its was onto Rolling Stone's top 50 albums of the year alongside Kanye West, Mos Def, Eminem, and Jadakiss. Dizzee Rascal has collaborated with hip hop ledges Bun B and Pimp C, as well artists outside of his genre such as Beck, Arctic Monkeys, and Basement Jaxx.

Dizzee Rascal will be coming to Austin on Monday July 21 and it is bound to be an incredible show. You can get more info on the show + win tickets here. In addition to seeing him live, I recommend you pick up his latest album “Maths + English”. Though poppier than his earlier works, he maintains his raw sound and intense energy. Here's a live cut of Dizzee Rascal covering The Ting Tings with the help of Calvin Harris.
*photo courtesy Connie Tsang