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Best of Bizzle

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Album Review

Never one to follow the crowd, 28-year-old Lethal Bizzle has eschewed the electro-pop path favored by his U.K. hip-hop contemporaries in favor of an uncompromising sound known as "grindie," a unique fusion of grime and guitar-led indie which has landed him on the airwaves of XFM and 6Music, as well as the pirate radio stations of North London. Since launching a solo career in 2005, the former More Fire Crew MC has performed with Pete Doherty at Glastonbury, appeared on experimental post-hardcore outfit's yourcodenameis:milo's collaborative album, Print Is Dead, Vol. 1, and, in 2007, placed ahead of Amy Winehouse and Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner on the NME's Cool List. While his credibility therefore remains unquestionable, the chart-topping success enjoyed by the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Chipmunk, and Tinchy Stryder has so far eluded him, with only debut single, "Pow (Forward)," banned by clubs due to its gun-related content, reaching the Top 20. Best of Bizzle, a 27-track collection which cherrypicks the stand-out cuts from his three studio albums, Against All Odds, Back to Bizznizz, and Go Hard, explains why. There may be collaborations with super-producer Mark Ronson ("Lost My Mind"), Brit Award-winning songstress Kate Nash ("Look What You Done"), and Kanye West's protégé Mr. Hudson ("My Eyes"), but his quick-fire harsh lyrical delivery, profanity-laden dark content, and eclectic mish-mash of sounds — hardly the staple of commercial radio playlists — remain firmly intact. "Police on My Back" updates the the Equals' groundbreaking tale of racist harassment and combines it with the raw energy of the Clash's more famous cover; "Mind Your Head" is a ferocious blend of stinging guitars, relentlessly pounding beats, and Batman-style vocal "pows," while "Rockstar" is a thunderous riposte to his critics, produced by D.I.Y. punk revivalists Gallows. There are a few concessions to a more mainstream sound. "Fire" is an infectious, uncharacteristically mellow midtempo which samples Detroit Spinners' "It's a Shame," while the brilliantly titled "Selfridges Girl Not on MySpace" is a glorious attempt at a dirty electro-house floor-filler. But with five tracks also taken from his former underground garage outfit More Fire Crew's 2002 genre-redefining debut album — including the frenetic battle-chant "Oi," one of the most minimal and fierce songs ever to grace the Top Ten — Best of Bizzle is certainly not a concerted effort to showcase his more chart-friendly sensibilities. Its often menacing nature and genre-clashing style certainly won't be for everyone, but while never less than exhilarating, it's still a well-executed retrospective from one of the U.K. urban scene's most unsung heroes. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Amaazin'

Bizzle's flows are tight, I love this! 27 tracks too, that's like 30p a track #getbehindit!

Sick

This guy has torn up the scene since he was a child. He deserves respect!

Crap

Crap

Biography

Formed: London, England

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

British MC Lethal Bizzle's explicit lyrics of violence and street tales of East London drew reaction and controversy but also gave him immense popularity among followers of garage and grime in the 2000s. Attracted to the intense energy of raves at a young age, Lethal B (born Maxwell Ansah) loved the speed of drum'n'bass. Artists like Roni Size and Shy FX first inspired him to do music, but early-'90s New York hip-hop also spoke to him — particularly the street lyricism of Nas and the Notorious...
Full bio
Best of Bizzle, Lethal Bizzle
View In iTunes
  • £7.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Rap
  • Released: 27 February 2011
  • Parental Advisory

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