May 2, 2013

Will Hagle is singing “One Day” in honor of Mac Daddy.

There is a Dizzee Rascal song called “H-Town” and it’s not about East London’s Hackney neighborhood. The hook consists of Dizzee repeatedly saying “I’m rolling round / H-Town / Texas man don’t hold me down.” It features Bun B and Trae and it was produced by A-Trak.

Last I remember, “Flushing MCs down the loo” was Dizzee’s hardest insult. Now he’s using lingo like “sitting in the slab with trill OG.” This isn’t the first time he’s collaborated with UGK (and before that seems like a remarkable feat, remember that Bun B will lend a verse to anyone), but it is the first time he sounds like he used to play quarterback at Dillon High. I imagine him in the studio with a styrofoam cup and a BBQ-stained t-shirt, getting called out by Trae for calling shoes “trainers.” The American Dream.

Although at first the list of collaborators seems strange, A-Trak’s role as producer is what saves this song. A-Trak’s career has essentially followed a path opposite to that of Dizzee Rascal— he started as a hip-hop turntablist and has since evolved into a rave DJ that happens to scratch occasionally. Dizzee broke stateside with his exquisitely British combination of electro and rap, and now he drops lines like “In the home of the brave / chilling with the OG / UGK.” Both excel in the respective genres of their homeland but admire genres from abroad. The fusion of these two lands them at a firm middle ground, creating a track suitable for the trillest of H-town clubs as well as the grimiest of East London. I want to find a reason to hate this song, but I can’t. Dizzee is too trill.

“H-Town” is scheduled to be included on Dizzee’s forthcoming LP The Fifth. If there’s not a Riff Raff feature somewhere on that track list, I won’t know what life means anymore.

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