19 Years Of Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner

Dizzee Rascal's 'Boy In Da Corner'

19 Years Of Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner


It was grime’s first and, arguably, best ever album. It announced grime to the mainstream — when barely anyone knew what to call it back then #WotDoUCallIt — It was a distinct, quality production that gave introduction to the genre. It is a graphic snapshot of 90s’ and early 2000s East End poverty, a vivid painting of a boy leaving kidulthood being thrust into adulthood, secured yet vulnerable, all backed by 140bpm, and haunting sound effects.

19 Years Of Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner

This album tells the story of a resilient individual struggling to survive the socio-economic realities of everyday inner city life, creating a vivid image of what it was like growing up on a council estate, the problems faced on a daily basis and highlighted a lot of issues such as drugs and gun culture and teenage pregnancy. Boy In Da Corner has come to be not so much an album but an imperative historical document, This album created a soundtrack to the life that I myself was being brought up in, so many people had something they could relate to, and so many underground MC’S and rappers now had a voice, a platform to showcase their lives and express that in the only way they knew how, hoping for the same recognition. This album portrays grime in its most raw, anxious and passionate form.

Dizzee Rascal produced an album upon which one of London’s most exciting, vital music scenes was built. And just like Rome, it wasn’t built in a day.


In celebration of 19 years of ‘Boy In Da COrner’ and 19 years of reciting i luv u to this level of perfection 👌🏻😂 @Dizzee Rascal #fyp #raplike #natwestwhatyouwaitingfor #midsizegal #ukgrime #dizzeerascal

♬ I Luv U – Dizzee Rascal

The album has some real hits to make any club night or live performance fill with energy and hype. Songs like ‘I Luv U’ and ‘Jus’ A Rascal’ provide infectious beats with kinetic flows and lyrics to match. After pushing a huge petition to get Dizzee Rascal to perform it in full LIVE in London, watching and hearing these songs at the Copper Box Arena in 2016 was monumental, the sold out show was a first for many. On that night Dizzee Rascal reclaimed his throne in front of an ecstatic home grown crowd, proving track-by-track why the album earned such legendary status.

19 Years Of Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner

19 Years Of Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner

Tracks like ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’, a laid back ode to old school hip hop, and ‘Jezebel’, with its catchy, staccato instrumentation were an inkling of Dizzee Rascals talent, and showed that he had already half an eye on the pop music formula that he would embrace later in his career.

The energy on ‘Boy In Da Corner‘ comes from Dizzee’s sonic past, having been a drum and bass DJ since age thirteen and creating self-produced ‘I Luv U’ – his first single, at age sixteen. He had made a number of appearances on local pirate radios promoting the grime sound, appearing with his then crew Roll Deep which he left shortly after finding solo success.

19 Years Of Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner

Boy In Da Corner won the Mercury Prize Award in 2003. Songs such as ‘I LUV U’, ‘JUS A RASCAL’ and ‘FIX UP, LOOK SHARP’ were critically acclaimed and have gone on to be some of his most memorable tracks causing the most hysteria..

It gave future grime MCs and producers a standard of excellence to aspire to, even if nothing else has ever sounded quite like it. There are a handful of albums and mixtapes that can be claimed to have impacted grime to a similar extent — Kano’s Home Sweet Home, Ruff Sqwad’s Guns ‘N’ Roses Vol. 1, Wiley’s Playtime Is Over and Skepta’s Konnichiwa spring immediately to mind — but Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner stands alone.

Boy In Da Corner is influential and 19 years later it’s now a reference for many of todays grime mc’s. Alongside the music, Dizzee solidified Grime’s look with the use of colours black and yellow, to the fashion staples – Tracksuits and Nike Airmax’s – which are predominant still to this day.

As DJ Semtex once put it, ‘Boy In Da Corner’ is grime’s “ground zero”. If people were confused about it 19 years ago, they shouldn’t be now.

Cheers to celebrating 19 years of such an iconic album, Dizzee if you see this, I LUV U XOXO

Fix up, look sharp and take care,

Sammi xx

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19 Years Of Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner

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