TURN­ING THE COR­NER

A STRONG ROUND SIX FOR THE NEWLY COM­BAT­IVE MR RAS­CAL.

Q (UK) - - Q Review New Albums -

DIZZEE RAS­CAL RASKIT DIR­TEE STANK/IS­LAND, OUT NOW

What’s eat­ing Dy­lan Mills? When Dizzee Ras­cal told the BBC in June he ought to be head­lin­ing Glas­ton­bury, he had a germ of a point. Since Boy In Da Cor­ner dragged grime over­ground in 2003, he’s scored more UK Top 10 LPs and Num­ber 1 sin­gles than pre­vi­ous bill-top­pers Kanye West ( 2015) and Jay-Z ( 2008). But deep down, he knows that when a Bri­tish rap­per does con­quer the Pyra­mid, it’ll be Stor­mzy or some other next-gen MC for whom Dizzee kicked down the door. And there’s the rub: rock bands are af­forded en­dur­ing ven­er­a­tion, while UK rap­pers are only feted as flavours of the month. Raskit seethes with that sense of in­jus­tice, and that re­asser­tion of sta­tus. “Tell pro­mot­ers that they’ve got to put me on more/I’m like an el­e­va­tor stick­ing at the wrong floor,” he snarls on The Other Side, which also swipes at “rub­bish MCs” and “lit­tle grime kids” who “ain’t got a clue”. Its con­cil­ia­tory flip­side is Wot U Gonna Do?, a warn­ing to younger rap­pers about the down­ward slope when the girls don’t call and you’ve “gotta work week­end shifts at McD’s”. Raskit was con­sciously made with “no hands-in-the-air mo­ments”. There’s no Bonkers here. The pro­duc­tion, cour­tesy of US mid­dleweights Salva, Cardo and Valentino Khan, is sparse and un­fussy, heavy on John Car­pen­teresque hor­ror at­mo­spher­ics, match­ing Dizzee’s vexed para­noia. The 32- year-old’s al­waysphe­nom­e­nal flow is now matched by weighty con­tent. For ex­am­ple, the anti-gen­tri­fi­ca­tion Ev­ery­thing Must Go, which sam­ples Thatcher evan­ge­lis­ing for free en­ter­prise and Boris John­son’s hol­low words about hous­ing and so­cial co­he­sion, makes bleakly top­i­cal lis­ten­ing post-Gren­fell. The mood lifts briefly circa the G-funk-in­spired Bop N Keep It Dip­pin’ and the emul­si­fied date jam She Knows What She Wants, but the self-ex­plana­tory Sick A Dis re­turns to Raskit’s ag­i­tated, an­tag­o­nis­tic mood. The boy may be cor­nered, but he’s com­ing out swing­ing. HHHH SI­MON PRICE Lis­ten To: Wot U Gonna Do? | Bop N Keep It Dip­pin’ | Ev­ery­thing Must Go

Dizzee Ras­cal: “Sneak­ergaze is more my thing, ac­tu­ally...” THE 32-YEAR-OLD’S AL­WAYS-PHE­NOM­E­NAL FLOW IS NOW MATCHED BY WEIGHTY CON­TENT.

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