My my, hasn't he grown. The third album from the young up-start sees age and experience add eight to his still gritty rhyme style. The blueprint is still the same since his 2003 Mercury Prize inning debut Boy In Da Corner but with the gift of hindsight he is able to craft a much fuller ecord not just in content but also in style enlisting the help of US rappers Bun B and Pimp C, Shy FX and finishing off with an all UK line up of Alex Turner and Lily Allen.
This new maturity is expressed from the outset with World Outside where Dizzee illuminates the importance of seeing the bigger picture that lies beyond both his fame and the ghetto roots that he has come from. You can almost hear Earl's brother look up from his beer with the start of the next track Pussyole saying "Tell me they didn't just go oldskool." Here Dizzee raps furiously over the awesome Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock beat bringing a fresh dose of grime to this classic. Where's Da G's questions fake gangsters while Bubbles is a full-on dick swinging boast-fest about Dizzee's success. But you can't argue with a word he says here as it's all true, it's all to be applauded and it's all rhymed over the tightest production.
Tracks like Hardback (Industry) illustrate just how far this MC has come. This song sounds like Dizzee Rascal's pitch at a school careers evening explaining the pitfalls of making it big in the music industry as he dishes out advice over a deep, booming beat. It's the stark contrast of tracks like this and the ego filled, abrasive moments like first single Sirens and album closer U Can't Tell Me Nuffin' that make this record so appealing. On Suk My Dick Dizzee claims "When I was a kid I had a chip upon my shoulder but it aint getting better as I am getting older." This is so true and somewhere in this line lies the success of Maths & English. The dust certainly has settled on Dizzee's life of Grime but it is the sign of a great artist to be able to preach words of startling wisdom with honest conviction while also retaining the edge that put him at the top in the first place.