Boy in Da Corner

Music review by
David Brown, Common Sense Media
Boy in Da Corner Music Poster Image
For older teens who like underground hip-hop.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Not a bad role model for kids. He's anti-violence, anti-celebrity, and thoughtful about the world around him.


Some posturing and mild talk of violence, but it's far from drive-by shootings or gang violence.


Some disrespectful depictions of women and references to sex.


A few curse words, but you can barely understand his lyrics.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to smoking pot and drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some of the songs are about sex, and there are a few references to smoking marijuana and fighting, but unless a teen looks up the lyrics on the Internet, content isn't much of an issue because most of the rapping is so difficult to understand.

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What's the story?

Dizzee Rascal's debut album, BOY IN DA CORNER, is far from your commercially popular rap. This is edgy, underground English hip-hop that creatively explores new territory. Unfortunately, that territory won't be very accessible for most teens. Rascal's thick British accent and choppy, syncopated delivery make him nearly impossible to understand. His lyrics can be found online, but remain somewhat cryptic, even on the printed page. The first single, \"Fix up, Look Sharp,\" is turning some heads, but Rascal is more like Ralph Nader in a two-party hip-hop system. Kids might be surprised to find out that this rap is from another country, and might find it really interesting to hear hip-hop in another language.

Is it any good?

As with most creatively independent music, this album needs a few listens before it reveals itself as enjoyable. Sometimes it feels like Rascal's just poking you uncomfortably in the ears, but this kind of creative freedom is difficult to find in the music industry, and it's worth a few tries.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how impressive it is that a 19-year-old writes all of the lyrics and most of the music on the album. How does this Brit's style of rap compare with American rap -- and which type do you prefer, and why?

Music details

  • Artist: Dizzee Rascal
  • Release date: January 20, 2004
  • Label: Matador Records
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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