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“Showtime” – Dizzee Rascal

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Dizzee Rascal’s sophomore album Showtime is, in my opinion, much more mature and well-rounded than his first, Boy in Da Corner. The lyrics and unique rapping style he brings to the genre are still evident, but a group of new producers have taken his broken-beat, bare song style and fleshed out some very dynamic, exciting beats. His first song “Showtime” reintroduces us to Dizzee Ras’ and then continues into second track, a jumpy fun electro-garage track that would get anyone jumping about in ecstatic fun at a party. “Everywhere” knocks you out with its minimal bassy subtlety and tight rhymes. I could continue but the album as a whole is brilliant, other than a few minor exceptions. “Hype Talk” and “Imagine” can get annoying after a while. The kitsch value of “Dream”‘s intro is more than worth the price of the CD as he samples beats and song from what seems like a British children’s show then raps over it. The strongest tracks are “Get By”, where he combines sadly beautiful lyrics, a steel drum sample, and a dirty synth, “Fickle”, an aggressive, driving track that sounds like it has some Kanye West influence but far better lyrics, and “Learn”, which I’ve listened to more than any other track since I’ve bought the cd. Dizzee Rascal one ups himself on this wondrous sophomore album, and even though it does have a few week tracks, I think Dizzee is young and talented enough to learn from his experiences here and, hopefully on the next, produce one of the best UK rap albums we’ll hear for a while yet.

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