Lately, music-journos have been christening Brit-rapper and all-round party-starter Rodney Smith as the 'elder statesman of hip-hop'. I bet he loves that. At 39 years young, alter-ego Roots Manuva has plenty of life left in his lungs, judging by the quality of new album "4everevolution".
Recent singles, "Watch Me Dance" and "Get the Get", are hardly your straight-up sulky thug-rap or grumpy grime-waves we're subjected to on street-corners and endless bus-journeys nowadays. Instead, Manuva chooses to push things forward (or to paraphrase one of his early bangers, 'juggle tings proper') with shamelessly full-on bass-heavy anthems, designed for the feet as well as the brain. If Manuva is an elder statesman, I want what he's having on his Cheerios in the mornings.
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, label-mate Wiley and, of course, the 'Boy in da Corner', million-selling Dizzee Rascal and chart-mates Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah.
After causing some disappointment amongst fans with the cancellation of his October South West tour (ill-health, according to one venue), it's time for a restart with fresh new shows next year, starting with Brighton on 31st January, followed by Norwich (1st Feb), Bristol (3rd Feb) and London's Roundhouse on the 4th. Tickets go on sale via Allgigs on Friday at 9am, costing £15 regionally, £17.50 for London.
The new album, "4everevolution", is out now (currently in the Top 75 Album Chart), some of which you can expect to wiggle your hips to during this tour (he performed some of it at Jamie's Big Feastival on Clapham Common in the summer - very tasty).