Roots Manuva: 4everevolution

roots manuva, 4everevolutionRoots Manuva: 4everevolution
When grime arose in the early 2000, it became a wave that every decent emcee in England had to try. The one exception to this seemed to be Roots Manuva. Roots had already blazed his own path with his unique mixture of hip hop and dub on his 1999 debut album, Brand New Second Hand. He stayed the course never veering away from hip hop and now this decade when many grime men seem to be migrating to hip hop, Roots Manuva looks smarter than ever.
Roots Manuva’s seventh studio album, 4everevolution delivers a distinctly British take on American hip hop. When I say distinctly British, I mean both lyrically and musically. “Skid Valley” sounds very much like an American hip hop beat but Roots Manuva basically summarizes why the England riots occurred. He raps “Cost of life so cheap ’round here/But the, cost of living ain’t cheap ’round here/This insane Britain, ready to claim Britain/Nuttin can change Britain, Britain’ll stay Britain.” Although the desperation in his rap could be applied to many places in the world right now, there is no mistaking he is talking about England.
But even when not talking about Britain, his music often has a British influence to it. While Roots Manuva may never have indulged in grime, he did take on the electro wave that hit Britain during the last decade. “Watch Me Dance” is an excellent example. The track mixes a dance drum beat with a simple synth line which Manuva raps over.
4everevolution barrels along with nary a misstep until the latter quarter of the album. The album is 17 tracks long and clocks in at just under an hour. By the time 45 minutes are up, Roots seems to be running out of steam. “Much Too Plush” sounds more like something 50 Cent would record than Roots. Perhaps he would have been wise to cut the tracklist by four songs but for any album to have 13 good songs is quite a find.
Rating: 7.9/10
MP3: Roots Manuva “Skid Valley”
Buy: iTunes or Insound