Debut 1: Boy In Da Corner

I’ve been revisiting alot of my CD collection of late. This is mainly due to hitting a period in my life where I feel the need for organisation and filling gaps. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned already, but I’ve been going backwards through my downloads and teenage cassette collection and re-buying the majority in CD format.

While I was a poor student, I indulged in the dirty habit of illegal downloading. This never really struck me as bad, infact I wasn’t too bothered. But recently I’ve been overcome with guilt and regret. I hate looking at my CD collection and seeing so many holes where there should be albums, with cover art and full packaging. I’m not really a fan of digital music collections, I’m all for the future and technology, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about owning the full product that just feels right.

Therefore, I’m on a crusade. This crusade actually started about eight months ago and it involves buying as many albums as I can afford each month and gradually rebuilding what I left stagnant for many years. This has inspired me to write about albums I may have forgotten about, so in order to streamline it nicely I’m going to run you through what I consider to be brilliant debut albums. These can be great debuts of past or of late, we’ll see how it goes.

20080214_2042920478_boy_in_da_corner-dizzee_rascal_480 Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner (Released 2003).

Dizzee Rascal’s debut hit the shelves in August 2003 and its highest peak in the UK chart was number 23. The month after its release, ‘Boy In Da Corner‘ won him the major honour of the Mercury Music Prize for best album. At just 19 years old, Dizzee was the youngest artist to ever win the award.

Sittin Here‘ provides the perfect opening for an album that is focused and compelling from the start. It eases you in not gently, but slowly, placing you into the genuine atmosphere of adolescent honesty and reality. Being so young at the time of writing this album, Dizzee Rascal was the real voice of his generation. Nothing is glossed or smoothed over, he speaks of London and its youth as seen through his own eyes, as experienced by himself. Its gritty, its raw and its an absolute masterpiece.  ‘I Luv U‘ which was written at the age of 16, tackles the subject of teenage pregnancy from a mature standpoint, whilst appealing to an audience of his own age group and beyond.

Jus A Rascal‘ and ‘Fix Up Look Sharp‘ both gained mainstream success, but not in the same vein as his modern day singles. At the time of this album, mainstream success for Dizzee did not equal number ones and collaborations with pop artists (unless you count ‘Lucky Star‘ with Basement Jaxx which came the following year – I don’t). Infact, over the last six years, we’ve seen Dizzee develop from a gritty, underground, U.K. grime artist to raps cheeky chappy with global appeal. I have alot of love for Dizzee’s entire catalogue, but in my opinion, he made it difficult from the start by producing something so genius so early.

Choice Track: Dizzee Rascal – Round We Go (Drop Io) (Alt Link YSI)

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