14 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“This is a story that shows no matter where you come from, you can actually go to the top,” Bugzy Malone tells Apple Music. Few UK MCs embody triumph over adversity like the Mancunian. Across a series of mixtapes and EPs, he’s documented his journey from poverty, tragedy, prison and depression to grime’s premier league with unflinching honesty. His first full album continues to pick through that tale, capturing the aggression and bravado of Manchester’s streets (“Warning”) before delivering stinging truths to an absent father (“Street Life”) and shaping childhood experiences into a portrait of fractured families and homelessness (“Run”). “Vulnerability doesn’t make me any weaker than the next person,” he says. “It shows security in yourself if you can demonstrate it. We all go through it. I think that’s why a lot of people can relate to me.”

Given those past struggles, Bugzy could have been excused for resting on his laurels after the success of 2017’s King of the North. However, B. Inspired is his most ambitious work to date, showcasing pin-sharp wordplay and extending grime’s musical horizons—the string-laden “Run” consciously draws on Moby and The Verve, while the guitar solo in “Drama” was inspired by the Eagles. “I think you owe that to the fans,” he says of the stylistic variety. “You don’t draw them in and say, ‘Come and be a fan of what I’m doing,’ and then get lazy and plateau. You have to push yourself the furthest you can go.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“This is a story that shows no matter where you come from, you can actually go to the top,” Bugzy Malone tells Apple Music. Few UK MCs embody triumph over adversity like the Mancunian. Across a series of mixtapes and EPs, he’s documented his journey from poverty, tragedy, prison and depression to grime’s premier league with unflinching honesty. His first full album continues to pick through that tale, capturing the aggression and bravado of Manchester’s streets (“Warning”) before delivering stinging truths to an absent father (“Street Life”) and shaping childhood experiences into a portrait of fractured families and homelessness (“Run”). “Vulnerability doesn’t make me any weaker than the next person,” he says. “It shows security in yourself if you can demonstrate it. We all go through it. I think that’s why a lot of people can relate to me.”

Given those past struggles, Bugzy could have been excused for resting on his laurels after the success of 2017’s King of the North. However, B. Inspired is his most ambitious work to date, showcasing pin-sharp wordplay and extending grime’s musical horizons—the string-laden “Run” consciously draws on Moby and The Verve, while the guitar solo in “Drama” was inspired by the Eagles. “I think you owe that to the fans,” he says of the stylistic variety. “You don’t draw them in and say, ‘Come and be a fan of what I’m doing,’ and then get lazy and plateau. You have to push yourself the furthest you can go.”

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About Bugzy Malone

"Way bigger than Kim Kardashian's bottom" according to the man himself, Manchester-based MC Bugzy Malone exploded on the indie grime scene in 2015, racking up 18 million views plus a MOBO nomination that year for Best New Artist. He made his debut in 2010 with the Swaggaman mixtape, and Why So Serious followed in 2011, while Lost in Meanwhile City dropped in 2012. His "0161 Manny on the Map" T-shirts began to be spotted in 2014, a ramp-up year that featured the release of The Journal of an Evil Genius, a mixtape supported by six straight weeks of new video uploads. His 2015 appearance on BBC Radio 1Xtra's freestyle show Fire in the Booth received millions of views within the month it was uploaded, then the Stereotyped mixtape landed before the official release Walk with Me appeared on the Grimey Limey label. The debut EP climbed into the Top Ten of the U.K. albums chart. Malone saw more success with his subsequent EP releases; 2016's Facing Time once again dominated the U.K. Top Ten upon its release. That same year saw Bugzy put out a trilogy of music videos, entitled Section 8(1) -- of which, each component accompanied the EP's title single, and fellow singles, "Beauty & the Beast" and "I Suggest." The young MC's success became the ultimate catalyst for a burgeoning workflow and his prolific output of work produced another release not long afterward with 2017's King of the North EP. The effort featured U.K. 2-step garage duo DJ Luck and MC Neat. ~ David Jeffries

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