British rap has experienced something of a resurgence in recent years, although the UK has never been shy of doing it hardcore (and we're not counting Adam Ant, Morris Minor & The Majors or Wham here, all of whom attempted misguided 'raps' at some point in their careers).
Early Brit-Rap artists included Newtrament, Hijack, Ruthless Rap Assassins, Derek B, Demon Boyz, London Posse and Asher D, all of whom released 12" in the mid-'80s, many initially signed to Simon Harris' Music of Life label. However, our homegrown artists were shunned by many of the hip-hop fraternity, opting for Def Jam output from Public Enemy, Beastie Boys and 3rd Bass instead. Later hopefuls in the '90s included the excellent Gunshot ("Mind of a Razor" being a highlight), Rebel MC, Overlord X, Blade and Silver Bullet.
As the '90s interest in Rave, Jungle and Britpop took hold, rap was kicked into touch, save for a bit of steady Wu-Tang action, until one a young rapper called Rodney Smith issued a single, "Next Type of Motion", in 1995 and appeared on the then-upcoming Skitz single, "Where My Mind is At" on Ronin in '96. 15 years later and Mr Smith is still as verbose and lyrical as ever he was.
Roots Manuva has announced his return to the South West for a quartet of shows that are sure to sell out in double-quick time, starting with Bridport on 5th October and followed by Falmouth (6th), Exeter (7th) and Plymouth (8th). Tickets for each show cost £14 and are on sale from us now. These are his first visits to Falmouth and Bridport (that we know of) and his first trips to the Devon cities since 2008 (which he sold out).
Cited as an influence for a new generation of UK rappers, be they hip-hop, grime or dubstep related, Roots Manuva now rubs shoulders with Blak Twang, Sway, Giggs, Skepta, Wiley and, of course, the 'Boy in da Corner', million-selling Dizzee Rascal and chart-mates Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah.
Manuva is more on the rootsy-conscious tip, yet manages to balance serious issues with a proper party banger cranked up behind him. Check out "Witness (1 Hope)", "Join The Dots" (with Jurassic 5, "Colossal Insight" and his new single "Watch Me Dance" from the new album "4everevolution" for proof. Listen to the latter, above!
Roots Manuva's South West stint has now been cancelled. Ticket-holders should obtain a refund from their point of purchase.