[19] Estelle featuring Kanye West, ‘American Boy’


Junior recognised this from the mere ambience before the beat slips in – “It’s American Boy!” – and spent at least the first couple of verses shaking booty around the kitchen while dressed in her new hat, scarf and gloves combo. She must have been cooking. Or cookin’, to the schmoove r’n’b rhythms.

The record brims with chutzpah, a bare-faced attempt to grab a slice of the American market. And fair enough; if Britain isn’t going to appreciate its urban stars then why shouldn’t the US? Becoming best buds with John Legend and Kanye West (who muscles in with a hilarious, offbeat cameo here) can’t have done much harm either. Estelle has come along way since I met her working in a video-editing suite, persistently turning up late for work and eventually getting sacked. Video-editing’s loss is truly jazzy hip-pop’s gain.

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