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Who Needs Actions When You Got Words

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Album Review

Straight outta East London comes Ben "Plan B" Drew, strewing acclaim behind him — the British Eminem, a rapping Arctic Monkeys, even Kurt Cobain has been invoked in his name. But those comparisons lack imagination: how about a modern-day Linton Kwesi Johnson, but without a decent edu-kashun, and forced to fall back on his wits? With the same gleaning eye for detail, a similar rage against a society which shuts him out, and an equal eloquence of rhyme, albeit expletive-laced on Plan B's account, he strips away England's polite facade to expose the ugliness at its core. Times have changed, though, so where Johnson used broad strokes to paint the political and social currents of his day, Plan B utilizes the small brush of the individual to draw his dystopian world. He does this brilliantly on the opening "Kidz," balancing a boasting gang-banger wilding night out with a scathing condemnatory editorial. But can you blame it all on the kids? "Sick 2 Def" definitively answers that question, as Plan B slams his own critics, whilst taking aim at pop culture and society's own flaws. It's a lethal number, but the rapper is even more illuminating when describing daily life in the 'hood. "Dead and Buried" sums it up, as his protagonists' wrong turns invariably trap them in insolvable, ofttimes fatal dilemmas. "Everyday" delves into a junkie's battle with drugs, "No More Eatin'" a boy's failed struggle against violence, while "Tough Love" depicts an honor killing. The infectious "Where Ya From?" is an anti-paean to his hometown, an ironic antidote to all the big-ups to my 'hood from the American rappers. And unlike Eminem's well-publicized battle with his mother, it's his father that Plan B disdains, coldly expressed on "I Don't Hate You," while his mother elicits tender concern on "Mama (Loves a Crackhead)." That latter track features an inspired sample of Hall & Oates "Say No," Gary Puckett & the Union Gap's "Young Girl" gives forewarning of "Charmaine," while a particularly clever use of a sample from Prodigy's "No Good (Start the Party)" underpins "No Good." That song is a plausible gangsta motto, the anthemic title track reflects Plan B's more mature ethos. Eschewing stripped down to the breakbeats backings, the set is flush with melody, heady atmospheres, and vocals, all counter-pointing Plan B's tough as nails toasts. A magnificent album from a poet for a modern generation.

Customer Reviews

The Best of UK Hip Hop!!!!

People call him the Eminem of the UK. He does have similarities. A great storyteller and lyricist he certainly is. Any similarities can stop at Eminem's first album. This boy is grimey, and fresh, and not afraid to speak is mind. Not that eminem ever was. But he did certainly smooth out a lot of those ruff edges that were present at the start of his career. We don't yet know what will happen to this boy but I sure hope he doesn't lose his grimey edge. This is another great example of why we should all be supporting our UK Hip Hop. This is what hip hop should be. This is what the US has forgotton how to do. This is exactly what a true hip hop head should be looing for in a album. Buy it now!!!!!

ben drew...underground legend!?

Ben Drew manages to pull off brutal lyrics and underground urban brit hop together so well, my personal favorite is 'no more eatin'; a heart felt, in ya face tune thats simple but oh so fuc*ing powerful! I saw him perform it live on mtv2 and he impressed me. Its different, and if your not to keen on anything experimental this might not be for you. But if you like clever rap and guitars, as well as some really well thought out hip hop bass lines n drum grooves then this is so right. So so right!!!!!!! Im just looking forward to seeing Plan B live!

album of 2007 (read before you buy!)

This is one of the best hip hop albums i own i can listen to it, no matter what mood i am in. Lets be honest it mite not be up to the standards of albums such as the 2001 album but still he is only young and this is his first proper album and it is absloutly amazing. B speaks from the heart, he speaks of real life events, events that you could imagine that you have been in, you can relate to what he says even if you are some posh kid living in a secluded housing estate or some kid who lives in a concrete jungle. This is what makes his lyrics stand out from the crowd, he might remind you of eminem but B's lyrics are better, his voice goes well with the acoustic gutiar and surpisingly enough he can actually sing! All 16 songs are great some maybe better than others but still i can listen through the whole album and that is rare in albums these days. So if you are looking to buy this album and you are a hip hop/rap fan then this is a really good buy well worth the money but only if you dont mind course language but lets be honest he says what every one else thinks but does not have the guts to say!


Born: 22 October 1983 in Forest Gate, London, England

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

British MC and actor Plan B (real name: Ben Drew) came to notice with "Cap Back," a playful, Wiley-referencing track produced by Roll Deep's Wonder that appeared on the 679 label's Run the Road compilation in 2005. Signed to 679's roster, the London native proceeded to release a handful of singles across 2005 and 2006, which culminated in his debut album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words. Its title a Meat Puppets reference, with tracks featuring clever samples of Hall & Oates, the Prodigy, and...
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Who Needs Actions When You Got Words, Plan B
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