Friday, January 16, 2004

I was in the midst of posting tracks from my 2003 top 10 when I got interrupted by computer problems. Two artists left.

Dizzee Rascal was just huge in England (articles all over the web about him) but I'm wondering if he'll have the same success in the US. When I first heard him, via the track I Luv U early in the year, I thought it was some sort of joke. It struck me as a collection of unpleasant noises, slathered in metallic reverb, and topped with an irritating vocal sample. Listened to it twice and forgot about it.

Then I kept reading about how England was going apeshit over him, so I got the album Boy In Da Corner to see what the fuss was about. Again, it sounded terrible to me. So terrible, in fact, that I decided there had to be something to it. I dealt with this the way I deal with most difficult albums: put it on my iPod and forced myself to listen to it over and over and over. And after about a week, I finally adjusted to the sound of the thing (which is pretty vastly different from just about anything else I've ever heard -- obviously I like guitar music primarily, but I have heard one or two hip-hop albums in my life) and decided that the Brits were right. Every time I put it on, it makes everything else (even recent things: Outkast, MF Doom, etc.) sound incredibly dated. Not sure that something so far ahead of the curve will catch on in the States, but we'll find out soon as the album comes out domestically this month (via Matador, who have videos etc. posted on their site).

The first song that really clicked for me was the single Fix Up, Look Sharp. Ok, and the embarrasing thing is that I think I initially took to it because it reminded me, on some level, of the Butthole Surfers' version of American Woman. I have this feeling that I may be the only person making that connection :)

Anyway, I especially love Dizzee's goofy voice, which is incredibly fun to imitate when no-one is around to hear. My cats could probably tell you a thing or two...more than once I've told them "It's probable I'll feed you, probably nevah!" But enough about that.

(Oh, also love the Dizzee line where he rhymes Tropicahna with banahna.)

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