Boy in da Corner

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Boy in da Corner
Dizee Rascal Album Boy in da Corner.jpg
Studio album by
Released21 July 2003 (2003-07-21)
RecordedOctober 2001–March 2003
StudioBelly of the Beast, Raskits Lair (London, England)
Dizzee Rascal chronology
Boy in da Corner
Singles from Boy in da Corner
  1. "I Luv U"
    Released: 26 May 2003
  2. "Fix Up, Look Sharp"
    Released: 18 August 2003
  3. "Jus' a Rascal"
    Released: 24 November 2003

Boy in da Corner is the debut studio album by English rapper and producer Dizzee Rascal. It was first released on 21 July 2003 by XL Recordings in the United Kingdom before being released the following year in the United States.

A widespread critical success, Boy in da Corner became one of the most acclaimed records of 2003 and went on to win the Mercury Prize for best album from the UK and Ireland. It also peaked at number 23 on the British albums chart and sold over 250,000 copies worldwide by 2004. With the album's success, Dizzee Rascal gave mainstream exposure to grime music while becoming the UK's first internationally recognised rap star.


Around the age of 14, Dizzee Rascal became an amateur drum and bass DJ, also rapping over tracks as customary in sound system culture, and making occasional appearances on local pirate radio stations.[1] Two years on, aged 16, he self-produced his first single, "I Luv U", which was included on his debut.[2] The same year, Rascal signed a solo deal with the record label XL.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[5]
Blender4/5 stars[6]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[7]
The Guardian5/5 stars[8]
Mojo5/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[12]
The Village VoiceA−[14]

Boy in da Corner received widespread acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, the album received an aggregate score of 92 out of 100, based on 28 reviews.[4] AllMusic called it "Startling, tirelessly powerful, and full of unlimited dimensions, nothing could truly weigh down this debut".[5] In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau wrote that "[as] someone who mocked the minimal means of U.K. garage and considered the Streets barely music at all, I was captivated by Dizzee's sound the moment I heard the import".[14] Fellow Village Voice critic Jeff Chang stated, "When Dizzee thinks very deeply—worrying about growing up, about those around him who won't grow up, about dying before he grows up—he sounds like, what else can we call it, the real thing".[15] Entertainment Weekly stated, "Combining U.K. garage beats and a distinctly British sensibility, Rascal spits out phrases with the energy and finesse of a championship boxer".[7] Rolling Stone wrote, "If you want a vision of the future of hip-hop and techno, get this record".[12] NME called it "one of the most assured debut albums of the last five years".[10] Pitchfork's Scott Plagenhoef stated, "Dizzee's despairing wail, focused anger, and cutting sonics places him on the front lines in the battle against a stultifying Britain, just as Pete Townshend, Johnny Rotten, and Morrissey have been in the past".[11] Stylus Magazine stated, "Most of Boy in Da Corner's most compelling moments come from this uneasy interaction between irrational youth and ultra-rational mechanized society".[16] Alexis Petridis from The Guardian called Dizzee "the most original and exciting artist to emerge from dance music in a decade".[8]

According to Acclaimed Music, Boy in da Corner was the third most ranked record on critics' year-end lists of the year's best albums and eventually the 298th most ranked on subsequent all-time lists.[17] It won Dizzee Rascal the 2003 Mercury Prize, an annual music award for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland, making him the second rapper to win the award.[18] In 2009, it was voted the sixth greatest album of all time by MTV Base.[19] The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[20] According to B.J. Steiner from Complex, "Boy in Da Corner brought grime—an influential subgenre of hip-hop birthed from the endless creativity of a bunch of kids from the United Kingdom—to the rest of the world and made a young Dizzee Rascal, his country's first international rap superstar."[21]

Commercial performance[edit]

Boy in da Corner was released on 21 July 2003 in the United Kingdom by XL Recordings and 20 January 2004 in the United States by Matador Records.[22] It reached number twenty-three on the UK Albums Chart[23] and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), having shipped 100,000 copies there.[24] By 2004, it had sold over 250,000 copies worldwide,[25] and over 58,000 copies in the US by 2007.[26] The album was certified Platinum (300,000 copies) in July 2018, 15 years after its release, making it Dizzee's second Platinum selling album after Tongue n' Cheek.[27]


In 2016, Dizzee Rascal performed Boy in da Corner in full for the first time first in New York and then in east London at the Copper Box Arena.[28][29] Contemporary critics praised the album's continuing influence on grime and ageless sound.[30][31] In late 2016, a bootleg fan mixtape of rare recordings from the Boy in Da Corner era called Left in da Corner was released.[32]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks were produced by Dizzee Rascal, except where noted.

1."Sittin' Here"Dylan Mills4:05
2."Stop Dat"Mills3:40
3."I Luv U"Mills4:05
4."Brand New Day"Mills4:00
5."2 Far" (featuring Wiley)3:07
6."Fix Up, Look Sharp"
7."Cut 'Em Off"Mills3:53
8."Hold Ya Mouf" (featuring God's Gift)
  • Mills
  • Jerome Dow
9."Round We Go" (co-produced by Chubby Dread)
  • Mills
  • Hector
10."Jus' a Rascal" (featuring Taz) (co-produced by Taz & Vanguard)
  • Mills
  • Tesmond Rowe
  • Vanguard Vardoen
11."Wot U On?"Mills4:50
13."Seems 2 Be"Mills3:46
14."Live O"Mills3:35
15."Do It!"Mills4:06
Total length:57:21


  • "Stop Dat" features background vocals by Armour of N.A.S.T.Y. Crew
  • "I Luv U" features additional vocals by Jeanine Jacques
  • "Wot U On?" features additional vocals by Caramel
  • "Seems 2 Be" features additional vocals by Claire Cottrell

Sample credits


The album's credits are adapted from AllMusic.[33]

  • Armour – background vocals
  • Gareth Bayliss – sleeve design assistant
  • Caramel – vocals
  • Dean Chalkley – sleeve photo
  • Chubby Dread – producer
  • Claire Cottrell – vocals
  • Nick Detnon – A&R
  • Ben Drury – cover design, logo design
  • God's Gift – performer
  • Nick Huggett – artist coordination
  • Dylan Mills – composer
  • Tesmond Rowe – composer
  • Vanguard Vardoen – composer
  • Wiley – performer


Chart (2003–04) Peak
UK Albums (OCC)[34] 23
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[35] 16
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[36] 14


  1. ^ DJ Vlad (17 March 2016). "Dizzee Rascal on Growing up in the Projects & Raw Gun Culture in the U.K." Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Dizzee Rascal: You Ask The Questions". The Independent. London. 12 August 2004. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
  3. ^ "Garage star stabbed in Cyprus". BBC News. 8 July 2003. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Reviews for Boy In Da Corner by Dizzee Rascal". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Boy in da Corner – Dizzee Rascal". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  6. ^ Weiner, Jonah (January 2004). "Dizzee Rascal: Boy in da Corner". Blender (23): 108. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b Browne, David (16 January 2004). "Boy in da Corner". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  8. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (18 July 2003). "Dizzee Rascal: Boy in da Corner". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  9. ^ "Dizzee Rascal: Boy in da Corner". Mojo (117): 106. August 2003.
  10. ^ a b Pattison, Louis (21 July 2003). "Dizzee Rascal : Boy In Da Corner". NME. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  11. ^ a b Plagenhoef, Scott (6 July 2003). "Dizzee Rascal: Boy in Da Corner". Pitchfork. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  12. ^ a b Blashill, Pat (5 February 2004). "Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2008.
  13. ^ Hermes, Will (February 2004). "Speaking in Tongues". Spin. 20 (2): 95–96. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  14. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (10 February 2004). "Consumer Guide: Parts of the Elephunk". The Village Voice. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  15. ^ Chang, Jeff (13 January 2004). "Future Shock". The Village Voice. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  16. ^ Mueller, Gavin (1 September 2003). "Dizzee Rascal – Boy in Da Corner – Review". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 30 June 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  17. ^ "Dizzee Rascal". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Rapper Rascal wins Mercury Prize". BBC News. 9 September 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  19. ^ "MTV Base – Greatest Albums Ever". MTV. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  20. ^ Dimery, Robert, ed. (2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-789-32074-6.
  21. ^ Steiner, B.J. (6 May 2016). "The Boy in Da Corner Grown Up: An Interview With Dizzee Rascal". Complex. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  22. ^ Morris, David (24 October 2003). "Dizzee Rascal: The End of Garage's Beginning". PopMatters. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  23. ^ Thompson, Ben (20 June 2004). "Dizzee Rascal, Boy In Da Corner". The Observer. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  24. ^ "BPI > Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 6 February 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  25. ^ Weiner, Jonah (7 September 2004). "Parallel Universe". The Village Voice. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  26. ^ Martens, Todd (23 May 2007). "New Dizzee Rascal Goes Digital-Only In U.S." Billboard. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  27. ^ "Dizzee Rascal on Instagram: "Imagine I'm just now seeing Boy in the corner went platinum last year 15 years after it was released! Big up everyone who's still listening…"". Instagram. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  28. ^ "The Secret History of Boy In Da Corner". 6 May 2016.
  29. ^ Halls, Eleanor. "Dizzee Rascal reminisces making his Mercury Prize winning debut album Boy In Da Corner".
  30. ^ Yates, Kieran (7 May 2016). "Dizzee Rascal: UK grime's royalty reclaims throne in New York" – via The Guardian.
  31. ^ "Exclusive: The Grime Scene Talks Dizzee Rascal's 'Boy In Da Corner' In New Mini Doc". Complex UK.
  32. ^ Fourth Mason (22 December 2016). "Dizzee Rascal - Left In Da Corner (Mixtape)" – via YouTube.
  33. ^ "Boy in da Corner - Dizzee Rascal: Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  34. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  35. ^ "Dizzee Rascal Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  36. ^ "Dizzee Rascal Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 May 2019.

External links[edit]