Over hypnotic synths and clinking knives, Dizzee Rascal proclaims, "There's a world outside of the ghetto and I want you to see it!" But what sounds like an inspired mission statement for the UK rapper's third album quickly veers out of focus. Dizzee spends the rest of the record partying, boasting and doing hard introspection.
But Maths + English is not without its gems. There's the London-Texas connect of Where Da G's with UGK - Rascal's nasal cockney fitting right in alongside Bun B and Pimp C's Southern drawls as the three drop cold logic to phony gangstas.
Sounding like a single, the jaunty Lily Allen collab Wanna Be is weird but works, unlike the Arctic Monkeys-sampled Temptation, in which 808 drums syncopated over a rock kit make for an awkward mix. There are a couple of other rock-rap missteps, and the Roni Size-ish break on Da Feelin' sounds dated.
That said, the song Flex should have club owners on both continents fireproofing their dance floors.