Boy in Da Corner

Feb 4, 2004 at 12:00 am

Buck Rogers is spoiling it for Dizzee Rascal’s debut album, Boy in Da Corner.

You would have to remember one of television’s worst (or best) shows to understand the point being made here. See, when Gil Gerard had that TV show, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, there was one episode where he went to a party. It was supposed to be this futuristic shingdig with people dancing new-age versions of the Robot in shiny suits. Kinda like P. Diddy.

The music on the show was supposed to sound like whatever people would listen to in the 25th century. It consisted of these synthesized bleeps and bloops over sparse drumbeats, and was peppered by first-soprano voices singing in unison. Kinda like Asian rock.

Anyway, there was also Twiki, that little robot with the deep monotone voice. He kept saying, “Hey, Buck. Boogie, boogie, Twiki.” The whole scene was, uh, corny, and made the future of music look just a bit bleak. Kinda like today’s hip-hop.

Anyway, Dizzee Rascal might deserve a better comparison. A lot of people in the UK seem to be into this cat because he’s a British hood who rose from the underground by pimping pirate radio.

Dizzee’s voice is high-pitched, and reminiscent of Red Rat, the Jamaican dancehall artist. Lyrically, he holds his own on songs like “Sittin Here,” and “I Luv U,” the song that gained him notoriety overseas. And he jacked Run-DMC’s “Live at the Funhouse” for “Fix Up, Look Sharp,” which is wicked.

What I can’t get over is the sound of his self-produced beats, which comprises 90 percent of the album. It’s too reminiscent of Buck Rogers, and I feel bad ‘cause it’s tainting the record for me! How can anyone enjoy an album that constantly brings to mind robots shimmying at futuristic parties on a bad space show? Still, the record is, otherwise, well-conceived, and eclectic enough to warrant respect.

Hold up. That Erin Gray woman, Buck’s sidekick, she was kinda fine. Lemme give it another listen.

E-mail Khary Kimani Turner at [email protected].