Everybody Wins!

6:15 PM -- Billboard is reporting that U.K. rapper Dizzee Rascal's highly anticipated third album, Maths and English, will only get a digital release stateside, anywhere their distribution through Beggar's Group already has an agreement.

A little background: Dizzee is at the forefront of the uniquely British rap sub-genre called "grime." Its strange blend of underground bleeps, half-time beats, rapid-fire rhymes, and British slang is its own kind of awesome. But grime is weird and noisy and not instantly palatable to traditional rap fans, as Def Jam has found out with their unremarkable return on signing Lady Sovereign. That is, grime is not really in any position to go mainstream in America right now.

Dizzee's Boy In Da Corner moved a lot of units when it dropped in 2004, but that more on the strength of endorsements from hipster critics than from any thuggish credentials. And with grime's buzz gone among the tastemakers, his sophomore album slumped. Still, the genre has its fans stateside, and the upcoming Maths and English is a must-have for that niche. In days of yore, a U.S. release was a high-risk investment because it costs a pile of cash to ship things across the Atlantic Ocean. But here in the future, any label can sign some paperwork and meet customer demands worldwide.

I (along with my robot dog and my flying car) love the future.

— A.L. Friedman, Editor at Large, Light Reading

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