Roots Manuva’s ‘Brand New Second Hand’

Roots Manuva’s ‘Brand New Second Hand’

Music | Fifteen Years on, UK Hip-Hop Has Never Bettered Roots Manuva’s ‘Brand New Second Hand’.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since this album was made. It’s easier to believe that nothing as good as it has ever come out of the UK hip-hop scene. Grime took over and that’s no bad thing, but Brand New Second Hand needs to be heard again. It’s an album that draws you into its world. There’s brooding, almost mythical feeling that runs through Roots Manuva’s meditations on poverty, urban life, racism, and crime. It’s very English: Indian corner shops, piggy banks, kissed teeth, travel cards, cries of “great scot” and “I say,” two-bit gangsters and Rodney’s “jet black flow from the south-west of L-O-N-D-O-N” means it never gets close to sounding like a D-list Tupac knock-off. He may not have got near it since, and the scene it came out of may be in decline, but for making Brand New Second Hand, Roots Manuva needs to be honored for his services to British music.

Added on: March 26th, 2014


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