With his third album, Maths + English, British rapper Dizzee Rascal provides an eclectic mix of tracks, with everything from the humorous to the more aggressive tones. Although sometimes hard to decipher the lyrics with his thick accent, what is obvious is Rascal’s efforts in making the album one to remember, with a great deal of experimentation in hopping between genres.
Starting off the album on a personal level with opening liner “I got shit I want to share with you” on “Word Outside,” Rascal communicates his feelings on life and the world, taking on a serious tone with his own story told in Rascal’s character hip hop style. Bordering on rock is “Sirens,” a song which incorporates a metal sound reminiscent of Korn, with Rascal’s repetitious rhyming keeping the song lively.
Highlights on the album are collaborative efforts with an interesting mix of guests. “Where’s Da G’s,” featuring Houston rappers UGK, is a catchy anthem which attacks others in the scene for being posers as seen with, “You’re not gangsta, you’re not street/ You just make yourself sound gangsta when you’re rapping on a beat.” Fellow Brit Lily Allen joins Rascal for the Bugsy Malone sampling of “Wanna Be,” giving the song a cutesy pop touch, with Lily adding her usual attitude.
Continuing his stream of genre hopping is “Flex,” which takes on more of a club vibe, and is one to pack dance floors, with its solid bass beat and trippy sound effects. Conversely, closer “U Can’t Tell Me Nuffin” (no, nothing to do with the Kanye song) is Rascal’s angriest track, rounding out an album which begins and ends on an energetic note, and follows suit in between. While fun to listen to, Maths + English is a bit hard to follow, as each song provides a completely different experience. But, maybe that’s not a bad thing.
In A Word: Entertaining