Grime Pays

Ballyhooed Englishman Dizzee Rascal conquers the world one record store clerk at a time

"You can't ??? me ??? dat, wha?!?": Marble-mouthed rapper Dizzee Rascal
Dean Chalkley
"You can't ??? me ??? dat, wha?!?": Marble-mouthed rapper Dizzee Rascal

Showtime isn't as excitingly experimental as Boy. Then again, the first album was also overlong, whereas this one never lags. Even in a more commercial mode, Dizzee is making strange stuff that's like nothing else; even mellowed, he's nasty. The bassline from "Graftin'," for instance, suggests the look on a cowboy's face as he shoots a campmate--just for snoring. The whole package comes together on "Hype Talk," on which a periodic bassline trades spare parts with offbeat snare claps, and a winsome melody relaxes up top. Meanwhile, a guy who actually deserves his hype spews English words that I feel no real need to comprehend.

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