[13] Roots Manuva, ‘Witness (1 Hope)’

And at unlucky number 13 we have the UK hip-hop industry. “Britain’s best rapper” – yes, sorry to break it to you, Dizzee Rascal, Lady Sovereign, Derek B, Daz Sampson, Simon Le Bon, Robbie Williams etc, but he just is – was born Rodney Smith; not as silly a name as his US equivalents Calvin and Tracy (here’s looking at you, Snoop and Ice-T), but certainly a moniker designed to undercut any gangsta pretensions. Luckily, Rodders is above all that, preferring hard-nosed social commentary, homegrown grooves, and salt of the earth shout-outs to “ten pints of bitter” and “cheese on toast”.

Junior and I do the giant stomp to the sinister beats, eerie harp samples and menacing yet tinny synths that sound like the march of the Federation soldiers in Blake’s 7. ‘Witness (1 Hope)’ is a chunky, phat-farming bounce.

The fact it reached No.45 on the singles chart shows how UK hip-hop bangs its head off a brick wall. The fact it took the sticky paw of novelty popsmith Calvin Harris to usher Dizzee Rascal to No.1 shows how UK hip-hop holds its hands up in surrender.

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