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Brand New Second Hand

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Album Review

A bright moment for British rap, the debut album from Roots Manuva introduced a hip-hop chameleon boasting dark productions and a distinct style, plus much more to say than most rappers. Both his raps and his productions rely on ragga as a bed, but instead of leading the party, Roots Manuva used it to reflect on the world ("Strange Behaviour") and his religious background ("Baptism"), as well as play the usual game of the dozens ("Dem Phonies"). Also of interest is the devastating "Clockwork", originally released on the Ninja Tune label compilation Funkungfusion. If anything, these low-key , bass-heavy productions (some by the rapper himself) aren't able to convey Roots Manuva's lyrical finesse and thematic complexity.

Customer Reviews

Clockwork

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Biography

Born: 1972 in Stockwell, London, England

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

British rapper/producer Rodney Smith established himself as Roots Manuva in the late '90s and began releasing a series of highly regarded albums through Big Dada. Smith's work was firmly rooted in dub and ragga but also incorporated much of the trip-hop style often associated with Ninja Tune, the U.K. imprint that often distributed Big Dada releases. The MC debuted in 1999 with Brand New Second Hand, a promising album that garnered a sizable amount of attention from the international hip-hop crowd...
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Brand New Second Hand, Roots Manuva
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