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.
|Label:||Big Dada Records|