Saturday, 1 August 2009
DIZZEE RASCAL - TONGUE N CHEEK - ALBUM REVIEW
So a few days ago i went down to the Dirtee Stank HQ to be played the new Dizzee Rascal album, 'Tongue N Cheek'. Cage, Dizz's manager, played me the entire album from start to finish. So what was the album like? Is it possible that Dizz could smash it yet again with album number 4?
I'm a big Dizz fan and i wanted this album to be good, but i've known so many talented artists go from good to bad overnight, and theres nothing worse then sitting in a studio being played an artist's album pretending that you like it (optional fake head nodding).
The final track listing should be that of the one below, but it may change. There are 10 joints on this album. In the 70's and 80's, all the classic albums that came out were only 10 tracks long. Then once we stepped into the 90's, with the advent of CD's and double vinyl, the average tracks per album became around 17. Putting 10 tracks on your album is a bold statement. That's confidence. That's basically saying your album is the sh*t, and you don't need more then 10 tracks as they are all hot.
Here's the breakdown:
Needs no introduction. Dizzee's biggest tune to date. Smash.
This track was actually recorded before the 'Road rage' incident you may of seen in the newspapers a few months back, in wake of an earlier incident when a police car crashed into his mini cooper, a few days after he passed his test!! The beat on this is too sick. Uptempo, Baltimore style...Aaron Lacrate (who produced this) definitely came through with a bass-heavy banger. Lyrically, Dizz flows perfectly on this track as he breaks down the joys of driving..."Beep beep, Coming through, move over, yeah YOU". Sounding good so far.
DANCE WIV ME
Another track that needs no introduction. This is the joint that put Dizz firmly into the pop mainstream. Catchy as hell, perfect for the summer, and who ever thought that the combo of Calvin Harris and Mr Rascal would be so dope. This got to number one for how long??? 6 weeks, something like that...Craziness...
I remember we performed this track at a festival in Belgium last year, just as it got to number 1. We bumped into Mike Skinner from the streets. Mike was trying to get Dizz to come out and party after the show, but Dizz explained we all had a early flight the next day. Mike goes "Come on man, you're only gonna get one number 1 in your career. Enjoy it while it lasts, and come out and party". Dizz looked at him right in his eyes and said "Are you mad, this ain't gonna be my only number 1". He was right.
One about the ladies, over a nice smooth head nodding beat. Wow alot of different girls names are mentioned on this track, wonder if it's their real names? This track follows up nicely from dance wiv me, as we see the cheeky side of Dizz. "Naughty, but nice" as he would say. From what I remember Cage is on production duties on this one. Cage is a genius on production. One of the few producers in this country to have their own style and sound on lock, and he came through on this one. Another one for the tick box!
CANT TEK NO MORE
One of my favourite cuts on the album. He killed this one right here. Lyrically, this is amazing as Dizz gets political, and addresses the social evils of life today. Shy FX murked the production, and no this is not a drum n bass track, think more Hip Hop with a Reggae twist. The 1980 classic film 'Babylon' was the base for the samples on this cut, and to be honest I was happily surprised at how good this track turned out. Its refreshing as well to see Dizzee speaking about issues such as this, which shows that he cant be categorized. Another smash.
CHILLIN WIV DA MAN DEM
Track 6. Normally at this point, this is where most albums start to get a bit boring, but in the case of 'Tongue N Cheek' it gets better and better. Chillin wit da man dem is exactly that, a track about chillin with your mates. One of those days when your with your friends, it's summer time, the PlayStation is on and nobody has a care in the world. Laid back, catchy as hell beat. Good vibes all around, perfect for driving around in the summer time.
When the original Dirtee Cash by Stevie V came out when I was a kid, I hated that record, so when i heard that this was the sample on this track I was dubious. I was wrong. The sample on this actually works really well. A song about the recession that you can dance to is a good description. If you've been to see Dizz live recently you probably would of seen him perform this one. Another win.
MONEY MONEY MONEY
This is another one of my favourite cuts on 'Tongue N Cheek'. Dizzee goes in and kills it on this one, and shows why he's the best all round MC in the UK in 2009. This is a 'Tongue N Cheek' celebration of the joys of living large.
"I ain't Beckham, but you know I got the game plan...Dylan Mills or Dizzee Rascal, it's all the same man, still a name brand, and I ain't no part of no chain gang, call me Lewis Hamilton I got my own lane man, speeding down the motorway, my cars never been towed away, traffic wardens take my autograph, then walk away". The flow on this is ridiculous.
Dizzee also introduces us to a new word for the Hip Hop dictionary, "Anyhoo".
Wow. Another smash. Dizz gets controversial and talks about the meaning of "keeping it real" over a monster of a beat. Dizzee tells it like it is, “cos there’s no unity or honour among thieves and that’s a fact”, attacking self-defeating ghetto mentalities. Hip Hop at its finest, I love this.
The new smash, and hopefully his 3rd number one. A feel good record for the summer, which sees Dizzee hooking up again with Calvin Harris, and yet again the combo works. For me this is a classic pop record. It makes people smile and dance, whilst having the perfect balance of being a good record whilst being a little cheesy at the same time. This is the last cut on the album, which ends on a high.
THE ROUND UP
I didn't think Dizzee could top Maths + English, but after listening to this it seems that he has. This album is perfectly well rounded, keeping both the older fans happy as well as the new ones. The 3 tracks that we've already heard (Dance Wiv Me/Bonkers/Holiday) are definitely the most commercial stuff on the album and everything else is raw Hip Hop with a twist. What sets this album apart from others is the ability of Dizzee to kill it over such a wide range of sick beats, and being himself, at the same time of being different and breaking the mold. There are no fillers on this album, and come to think of it, there isn't a track on this album that is weak. Tongue N Cheek is a feel good album, which will have you dancing, head nodding, and thinking all at the same time. Big up Dizzee....another Classic!!!