If you were going to compile a list of the greatest ever organic cottage cheeses it might be a good test of your debating skills to argue the case for Roots Manuva’s inclusion. It would certainly be a more worthwhile endeavour than collating a list of the greatest ever British rappers, as Roots would splay open-legged as he lay on top of that list with such ease that it’s actually rather embarrassing to even consider. Stop thinking about it! Stop it! Not that Rodney Smith’s eighth (or is it ninth?) album sees him kicking back to reflect in the glory, in fact it’s by some distance his most disturbed (though never disturbing) and bleak album to date. He’s always been hip-hop’s greatest curmudgeon, but ‘Bleeds’ sees him occasionally furious but always deeply crestfallen at the state of Cameron’s Britain, from corporate greed to the poor being continually shat upon. It’s his most weighty social commentary, though the gritty and enraged lyrics are often onset by some of the most beautiful productions he’s ever been involved in. He mainly does away with any frivolity that may have once formed a big part of his identity but the results are deeply affecting. It’s another album I wish I’d been able to spend more time with, but it already sounds like it deserves to placed alongside the very best works of his career.
‘Fun’ Fact: Roots Manuva is the 52’664th most ‘popular’ person on famousbirthdays.com
Ooooooh, weighty lyrics with gorgeous music, gimme some of that: ‘Don’t Breath Out‘ is probably the best example