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Badmeaningood Vol.2: Selected & Mixed By Roots Manuva - Roots Manuva

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Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap / Artist: Roots Manuva, mixed by Roots Manuva / Audio CD released 2002-10-07 at Ultimate Dilemma

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      26.10.2008 16:38
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      Some great tracks, but not enough

      This is a compilation album put together by highly-respected UK hip-hop artist Roots Manuva, made famous by his classic Run Come Save Me album and its massive single, 'Witness (One Hope)'. The 'Badmeaningood' series was designed to give big names in the hip-hop scene the chance to define their genre and express what it means to them. Basically, if you look past all that PR fluff, it's a mix CD full of songs picked by people who make good music. The idea being, if you like the artist involved, you'll probably like the music on this disc.

      ...In theory.

      Skitz put together the first part in the series, which was a CD I adored. Obviously, I was excited to pick up the second part of the series, expecting more of the eclectic but seamless and, above all else, enjoyable rare music I was provided previously.

      Sure, these albums could be considered vanity projects, as they give the compiling artist free reign to include whatever tracks they want without a whiff of explanation, but at least you can expect them to deliver the goods in the form of hardcore music hand-picked and mixed by the professionals. Can't you?

      Please don't pick this up if you want a selection of hard hip-hop beats - while there is quite a lot of rap on this album, this isn't a 100% rap collection. It's a mixture of styles, incorporating R&B, ska and reggae.

      So, now we've got that out of the way, let's have a breakdown of everything Roots Manuva has in store for us...

      1. Intro - Roots Manuva
      A far too long, rap-type poem thing by Roots Manuva over a chilled out beat. Very poor start to the album as it sounds like Manuva has had a few too many beers before putting lips to the microphone. Skip it, it's awful. <1 out of 5>

      2. Priceless - Deckwrecka & MCD
      This sounds like the kind of thing Roots Manuva was trying to do on the track up there. Competent rapping over a funky but relaxed tune. Not very memorable, but there are some nice lyrics here if you're into that side of hip-hop. <2 out of 5>

      3. The Groundbreaker - Fallacy & Fusion
      A classic party tune. It stands out in this collection like a disco ball in a bag of marbles, but I'm glad it's here. There are a couple of better remixes that Manuva could have chosen, but you can't go too wrong with any version of this song. Might be a bit too rough for mature listeners though. <4 out of 5>

      4.: (I'm Gonna) Hold On - Willie Hutch
      I'm not sure what Roots Manuva was thinking with the tracklisting on this one, as it seems to jump from hardcore party rap to classic funk in a blink of an eye without any sense of cohesion. For anyone unfamiliar with this song, mix up some Isaac Hayes with the Temptations and you've pretty much got it. It might be enjoyable for fans of Willie Hutch but it's a bit too uninteresting for the majority of people. And, as I said, it's so odd to put this one straight after Groundbreaker. Doesn't make any sense. <2 out of 5>

      5. Mirror In The Bathroom - The Beat
      A haunting, thumping ska track. Very catchy lyrics. In fact, I've got to thank this album for introducing this track to me because it's become one of my favourite songs of all time. <5 out of 5>

      6. Sweetest Feeling - Ce'Cile
      Just as dark as the last track, but this one's a R'n'B style number about positivity and putting down the guns. If the track was long enough, it would be boring. Luckily, it manages to get away with just being bland and mildly irritating. <2 out of 5>

      7. Bad Boy DJ (Remix) - Bad Vibes & Potential Bad Boy
      I'll admit it, I'm not sure how to classify this one - it's a bit of techno, but of drum and bass... I don't know. I wish it had a lyric throughout so I could just call it 'rap' and be done with it. Anyway, it's a a dancey number that is a bit choppy and too slow to be properly engaging, but you can bop your head to it. <3 out of 5>

      8. Crazy Sound Boy - Sugar Minott
      A happy, slightly mental reggae track about "dem eejut sound boy". Don't expect to understand it if you're not a reggae enthusiast, but it's chilling enough and catchy enough to force you to turn it up. Only possible fault is that it's a little too long. <4 out of 5>

      9. Caught Up - Ol' Dirty Bastard, Mack 10 & Royal Flush
      This track was a let down because I expected Ol' Dirty Bastard to have a bigger role. Unfortunately for fans of ODB (RIP), he winds up just rapping for about twenty seconds in the beginning. Afterwards, we get a weak, middle-of-the-road hip-hop song with two boring raps by Mack 10 and Royal Flush, accompanied by an annoying falsetto chorus. The only interesting bit is ODB's slightly crazed attack on pilgrims. <1 out of 5>

      10. Godnose - Braintax & Task Force
      Sigh. More boring rap. No attractive beat, no attractive lyrics. <1 out of 5>

      11. Follow The Leader - Eric B & Rakim
      There's no doubt that this is a classic song, but if you're any sort of hip-hop enthusiast you should have this about three times already. It's sad that rap this old still stands out as the best rap song on the album when there are so many "modern" attempts. For those who don't know it, it's a flowing, electric sprint through Rakim's intelligent rap and Eric B's incredible music. <5 out of 5>

      12. Straight Outta Compton - NWA
      See the first sentence of the above paragraph. A very violent, aggressive military march of a track that will pump blood around your body whoever you are. Awesome, if you don't already have it. <5 out of 5>

      13. Keep On Movin' - Soul II Soul
      You know this song. Everybody does. Putting it straight after NWA though? You could call it twisted genius, but you would be wrong. <4 out of 5>

      14. I.O.U. - Freeez
      Bit of disco? Why not, we've had everything else. It seems like Roots Manuva was more interested in proving that he has an eclectic music taste than making a cohesive compilation. This is actually pretty good, a very excited backing track and a bumping bassline support some rather cheesy but fun singing. <3 out of 5>

      15. Sugar Free - Juicy
      Silky soul number with one of the most addictive choruses ever. You can't fault this song, it's classic music - funky, smooth and cool. Turn it up! <4 out of 5>

      16. Can't Stand Your Mother - Lucy Pearl
      Ugh. The strange Kelis/Erykah Badu hybrid that is Lucy Pearl moans about how she hates her boyfriend's mother. Very haphazard song, with Lucy not seeming to notice the chorus sneaking up on her and what sounds like a small country of backing singers arguing with the hiccupping drum machine. The song quickly deteriorates into awful ad-libs and nonsensical lyrics that come out of nowhere and try to inject you with some serious germs. <0 out of 5>

      17. Elevators (Me & You) - Outkast
      Atmospheric and hard, this takes us back to a time when Outkast could make a rap song. Not the best choice from their back catalogue but this is a somewhat scary song that flows through the night air like a sharp wind. <3 out of 5>

      18. Yellow Submarine - Roots Manuva
      Yes, this is Roots Manuva covering a Beatles song. I'm not going to lie, it's good. It's better than the original, even though Manuva sings it like he's a disabled pirate. I can't describe this one to you. It's odd. Lennon would have been proud. <4 out of 5>

      19. Stimulation Of Chaos (Instrumental) - Reachout
      An unnecessary and boring end to the album. Continues the dark, brooding nature of the collection, but we could have done without it. <1 out of 5>

      As with all releases in this series, graffiti artist Banksy provides artwork for the sleeve, which depicts a tank with bunny ears and a baby blue bow. I guess it's supposed to be ironic. The packaging is in fact very cool, very sleek and includes a promotional poster. If only the compliation had been as smooth and cool.

      After the triumph of Skitz' CD, I was very disappointed with this. Roots Manuva was instructed to define his vision of hip-hop to us through these songs, and I can only take that to mean that he seems hip-hop as gloomy, unexciting and passive. He didn't even bother mixing them properly. A waste of time, and definitely a waste of money. Sure, there are some good, hard-to-find songs presented here, but the key word there is "some".

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Intro
      2 Priceless - Deckwrecka feat. MCD
      3 The Groundbreaker - Fallacy and Fusion
      4 (Im Gonna)Hold On - Willie Hutch
      5 Mirror In The Bathroom - The Beat
      6 Sweetest Feeling -Ce'cile
      7 Bad Boy DJ (Remix)- Bad Vibes and Potential Bad Boy
      8 Crazy Sound Boy - Sugar Minott
      9 Caught Up - Ol' Dirty Bastard Feat. Mack 10 and Royal Flush
      10 Godnose - Braintax feat. Taskforce
      11 Follow The Leader - Eric B and Rakim
      12 Straight Outta Compton - NWA
      13 Keep On Movin' - Soul II Soul
      14 I.O.U - Freez
      15 Sugar Free - Juicy
      16 Can't Stand Your Mother - Lucy Pearl
      17 Elavators (Me and You) - Outkast
      18 Yellow Submarine - Roots Manuva
      19 Stimulation of Chaos (Instrumental) - Reachout