It’s telling that, watching the Brits earlier this year, my loudest moment was to berate Plan B – aka British rapper Ben Drew – for wearing a hideous suit two sizes too big for him.
“How could they send him on like that? Send the man to Saville Row for Christ’s sake. My eyes are BURNING!” Although my TV laments went largely unheard, the last laugh is on me. Because last week, Drew released Ill Manors – perhaps the best single to come from British shores for some time, and the hype from its release is gargantuan – and gathering speed by the minute.
Although Drew’s second, and highly rated album The Defamation Of Strickland Banks was brilliant and soulful in tandem, showcasing his singing ability over his softly-spoken raps – the fire in Drew’s belly has been stirred and stoked nearing incendiary levels. Spilling his mind on the recent London riots, to social commentary (“Oh look there’s a Chav, that means Council Housed And Violent”). And somewhat loaded thoughts on the British government (“He’s got a hoodie on, give him a hug – on second thought’s don’t - don’t wanna get mugged,”) Drew’s agenda is set and ready to ignite.
Protest song, call to arms – call it what you will. Plan B, along with Professor Green and The King Blues is giving British music something to shout about again – the world should take note.
Words: Anita Bhagwandas