At the moment the eyes of the world are fixed on the East end of London who are hosting the Olympics. But before Olympic fame, the East end was famed for bringing a certain grime, hip-hop, garage artist to our attention.
I’m taking a step back in time. Not too far back, only 2003 when I was 15 years old and the world was seen through rose tinted glasses. That was until I discovered the music genre of Grime, and a young Dizzee Rascal’s debut album, Boy in da Corner.
In July 2003, Dizzee Rascal introduced the world to Boy in da Corner, 15 tracks of grime, garage and rawness. He was rewarded with the 2003 Mercury Prize.
Hailing from East London, local pirate radio and associated with the Roll Deep crew in the early days, Dizzee, real name Dylan Mills, released his first single ‘I Luv U’. The music in this track had my attention as soon as it hit my ears. The bass is hard and his vocal even harder which is softened by female chorus vocal from Jeanine Jacques.
Soon to follow was ‘Fix up Look Sharp’. This has the catchiest sample of ‘The Big Beat’ by Billy Squire, and edge that I had never heard at the time. Things just seemed to get better and with the success of the pervious singles, the final single to be released from the album was ‘Jus a Rascal’. His vocal on this record is fast, raw and something I have never heard from him since. Shame.
I don’t have a favourite song on the album but Jezebel, a single that wasn’t released, could be. The story of young, promiscuous girl is told by Dizzee in a very real, narrative way.
This album solidified Grime coming up from the underground as it cemented the genre in the charts and in my CD collection. The whole Grime scene excites and interests me.
Dizzee released more albums after ‘Boy in da Corner’. Showtime, Maths and English and Tongue in Cheek were to follow. New material is on the way.