Rascal is back with a new album that sees him move into the mainstream with an effortlessness that nobody would have predicted back in 2003. What we have instead of the old gritty rapper persona is a little, well, surreal. “See me on the telly with Jeremy Paxman on the news” boasts Rascal on “Money Money.” Earlier in the same song the MC worries that his willy will be stinging in the morning after a night with girls he has had at the “playa pad.”
Yes, Dizzee Rascal has realized that he is rich, famous and can do what he wants. What this means is that the album lacks the substance of his earlier works — a man in his position has little to say about social ills. That said, what the album lacks in lyrical substance is made up for in the music. A number of producers were brought in to work with Rascal on this album, and three of those guests have brought U.K. No. 1 singles to the MC — Calvin Harris with “Dance Wiv Me,” Armand Van Helden on this summer’s big hit “Bonkers” and Chrome on the album’s low point “Holiday.” Rascal’s flow also adds to the experience.
Some in the media have complained that there is sexism on the album, but Dizzee Rascal shot to fame at the age of 17 and has been at the top of British hip-hop with his bank account growing since then. In that situation can anybody blame the 23-year-old for being in bed with groupies rather than in the library studying Germaine Greer’s “The Female Eunuch”?