This was an iconic life moment for his fans and UK music. It’s an album that touched many souls and has inspired so many individuals. You can always go to a festival and see Dizzee Rascal perform Bonkers and Fix Up Look Sharp but you won’t see him perform the culture classics like Brand New Day and Stop Dat. That’s what made the London show of Boy In Da Corner so special. It wasn’t just seeing Dizzee perform the album in the area where much of it was inspired, it was equally a congregation of individuals who were touched by that album. He initially performed the album in New York over the summer for the RBMA festival but later announced the London show due to phenomonal demand and an online petition.
The album dwells into pain, hostility and hope – and people of all different ages, backgrounds and struggles were there to see it performed live – something they’d thought they’d never witness. Yet as much as there were deep fans present, there was also a number of people who clearly were not and who didn’t understand the significance of the album (going to the bar during Jezebel is a clear indication of that!).
It was good to see Slimzee warming up before Dizzee’s performance too. Slimzee and Dizzee used to MC and DJ together during 2001-2003, tearing up shows across the UK. Before the release of Boy In Da Corner, it was Slimzee, Sizzee and Wiley’s sidewinder tape packs that helped spread their new and exciting sound across the UK. Slimzee used to always start his sets with a female voice singing “said you don’t know nothing till you know that I love you” and hearing Dizzee drop that clip in his performance was truely unexpected. It felt like an hidden gem for those whose love for Boy In The Corner goes deeper than what’s on the album.
The performance of Boy In Da corner was in track order getting reloads from Stop Dat, Jus a Rascal and others. Dizzee has said that he hasn’t performed many of the songs since he first toured from the album so it was good to see that the show went smoothly. The only fuck up was during the end of Jezebel where he just stopped spitting and told DJ MK to move onto the next track. It’s not clear if he just forgot the lyrics, or if maybe performing that particular song in the ends bought back certain old memories.
On the journey to East London, me and the guys where discussing who might do Wiley’s verse on 2 Far because it definitely was not gonna be Wiley. You’d be reluctant to find out that he indeed completely Cut ‘Em Off the Godfathers 16 (I guess he’s sticking to his words). Hearing the album live in 2016 made so many of us realise that Boy In Da Corner is still ahead of its time, especially when reflecting on tracks like Cut Em Off and Round We Go. Big up the sound engineers and RBMA for supplying a heavy sound system. It was mad hearing my favourite songs on a system like that.
Overall, the show was amazing and truely a once in a life time experience. The only downfall was that it felt that Dylan didn’t have his heart in performance (maybe he did but we didn’t feel it). He barely said any words between songs and his tone of voice when spitting didn’t portray the emotion we fans wanted. He did however, before his final song (Do it), say “I know how much this shit means to some of you“.
I guess we all gotta realise that Dylan Mills is no longer the boy in the corner and we’re so glad that you ain’t because nobody wants their friend to still be feeling like that 13 years on.
If you missed the whole, some guy filmed the whole show (lol big up you).