Roots Manuva & Wrongtom album review

For a generation reared on underground UK hip-hop artists such as Blak Twang, Rodney P, Taskforce and (especially) Rodney ‘Roots Manuva’ Smith

Duppy Writer
4/5

For a generation reared on underground UK hip-hop artists such as Blak Twang, Rodney P, Taskforce and (especially) Rodney ‘Roots Manuva’ Smith, the popularity of grime, jerk and the ‘hipster rap’ scene must make them feel as up-to-date as the Gregorian calendar. Luckily, Brit record label Big Dada hasn’t forsaken the heads just yet.

For this release, it has recruited upcoming Brixton-based producer Wrongtom to get busy with a range of Rodders’ oldies in a crisp and warm dub style. The results are a revelation. From the opening tape-echo adventures of ‘Butterfly Crab Walk’ to the newly-recorded ‘Jah Warrior’ featuring Ricky Ranking, Wrongtom pitches it perfectly. While the majority of his beats go back to the sound of the classic ’70s studios, his mix of ‘Buff Nuff’ is a true standout, recalling the bouncy ‘Sleng Teng’ riddim. Overall, it’s a timeless joy, proving that lines such as ‘To my boys who hassle banks like Jimmy Floyd/Natwest, TSB and Lloyds, make some noise’ just never go out of style.

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