Despairingly volatile, when Dizzee Rascal rasped “I’m another problem for Anthony Blair” on ‘Hold Your Mouf’, it seemed something was starting to stir. As numbskull UK garage started to mutate into something more pungent, Boy In Da Corner provided a centerpiece to work round – desperate through downtroddeness and eager to lash out. But as years have passed by, rarely has the sinister affect of Rascal’s debut been recaptured; the hostilities have lost their edge. It seems post-Blair Britain has imposed a sense of apathy beyond just Middle England.
By the time Rascal's name was rolling off tongues as a Mercury nominee, Lethal Bizzle had already proved himself a chart botherer with More Fire's ‘Oi’. After debut long-play Against All Oddz, Bizzle started to impose himself further within the industry, immersing himself in peculiar crowds – namely, his recently collaboration and dates with Gallows. But in trying to embrace these influences, Back To Bizznizz too regularly turns its back on Bizzle's initial success and instead provides a frustratingly mixed bag.
The quality of the record is split down the middle. ‘Mr’ spirals disorientatingly next to the darting drones of ‘Bizzle Bizzle’, cutting back and forth as Maxwell Ansah rambles about the pitfalls of scaling the charts. But then comes the dip. ‘Babylon’s Burning The Ghetto’ – produced by Akira The Don – is Clash-cum-nu-metal cackhandedly attempting to get political. Elsewhere, a wary and worn-down Bizzle sounds innocently affecting on 'Mr Eyes' and 'Sometimes I Think', whilst roping in Statik to warp Babyshambles' ‘La Belle Et Le Bete’ to some hop-scotch hip-hop track pays off to reasonable effect. But, as with the collaboration with Kate Nash on 'Look What You've Done', it's not so much that the tracks are particuarly poor, but that they don't suit his quickfire flow. Too often the Walthamstow gentleman's delivery is left sounding clumsy when elsewhere, like on the rampant 'You'll Get Wrapped Up', Bizzle is back in his comfort zone with lairy brilliance.
But take him out of this zone and you get the album's conclusion, 'Reflecting', a tame Everlast-alike, dewy-eyed closer. In a moment of retrospective sentimentality, the soft acoustics that littered the Mitchell Brothers and Kano's last efforts again fail to provide the poignancy they attempt. The relentless cynicism that Skinnyman incorporated on Council Estate of Mind remains the most truly damning political whip-crack record from a UK artist in the last couple of years, whilst Bizzle's sly political pops throughout the record - taking particular aim at Blair - are to little effect. As with the production of the record, Bizzle seems confused, halfway between the strides of UK hip-hop statesmen Roots Manuva and Ty and his former youthful mischievousness.
With a platform to perform from, Bizzle has ultimately produced a record riddled with far too many questionable contributions and quirks, failing to provide the gut-punch that was hoped for and instead serving up another hesitant political swipe.
6zzzzzz zzzzzz's Score