* Prices may differ from that shown
As far as UK Rap acts go, Wretch 32 arguably the country's first to remain consistent in their sound from their underground days to their breakthrough. With a rise to fame which culminated in a #1 single, the Tottenham boy has made himself a template for the nation's up-and-coming Rap talents and how they can capitalise on a new-found acceptance for the recent 'urban' resurgence. "Black and White" acts as his first real debut, although he did put out the "Wretchrospective" album independently in 2008. With it, he includes all of his well-embraced singles and a range of tunes; made to show why he was picked to represent the underground.
Wretch makes ideal blends between a gritty true-to-form UK Rap sound and what can get over in the mainstream. Whether it's from the dance-edged first single "Traktor" or the emotive "Forgiveness", he doesn't fail on his mission to please all side to his new fan base. In doing so, he creates modern masterpieces like "Don't Go" and slots it alongside splashes of flavoursome tunes like "Please Don't Let Me Go". He's always go something going for him and makes for an album which he should be proud of. Although might not sound like the best thing to highlight, considering that MCs who cut their teeth in the Grime scene (Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah, Dizzee Rascal) have a track record for abandoning anything remotely close to their early days, the lack of cheese here is a breath of fresh air for someone as success as he has become.
There might be a lot of good going for the album, but the odd issue does crop up. Initially, this comes via his collaboration with Example, where it doesn't really feel as natural as what else is found on the moody release. However, the majority of the album features the MC testing his skills and replacing blatant mainstream attempts (of his contemporaries) with balanced tunes with help from guest vocalists, so it doesn't continue. Unfortunately, he does lose his direction on the full-on "Sane's the New Mad", but it can be forgiven.
"Black and White" is the perfect example of how UK Rap acts should be presenting the sound. While Tinie Tempah may have brought a shiny version of this and Professor Green did the same, checking back to Wretch's debut independent album ("Wretchrospective") and hearing this, the only thing that's changed is that a wider audience are clocking onto his potential and extraordinary lyrist. His wordplay and puns are second-to-none, he's created a solid product with lots of replay value and he's set valuable foundations for what's due to be an exciting career. From the title track to the tune with Josh Kumra, it's a fountain of treats for listeners who appreciate the metaphor specialists. For those who aren't as concerned with that aspect, the help of L, Emeli Sande and Alex Mills keep everyone satisfied.
Wretch32 is a uk artist who has mainly done UK rap/Grime as of recent years and as more and more people from the underground UK scene seem to be breaking into the charts and becoming more popular i believe that this is what wretch has done here, along with others who did the same recently like Tinie Tempah and Chipmunk.
The album features a lot more tracks with a "pop" atmosphere and more gentleness rather than the more aggressive music that he used to make. He also has a lot of features on the track with people who are chart hitters to increase his chances of people listening to him, he has features such as: Ed Sheeran, Chipmunk, Example and others. By doing this he has hooked in those who listened to those artists and increased his chance of getting into the charts by having them in it and people buying the track.
01. Black And White
02. Never Be Me
03. Traktor lyrics
04. Please Don't Let Me Go
06. I'm Not The Man
07. Anniversary (Fall In Love)
08. Sane's The New Mad
10. Long Way Home
11. Let Yourself Go
12. Don't Be Afraid
13. Hush Little Baby
14. Don't Go lyrics
Above you can see the track list for the album i am reviewing and you can see that there is a few tracks that you probably will recognize if you do watch the charts and who is doing well. Tracks that will be noted that have done well is "unorthodox" which i personally only did particularly well because it had example in it and Wretch32 wasn't that great in it although he was alright and also this album hosted the famous "Traktor". Most people will recognize the track from the Google chrome advert that showed Jamal Edwards. In my opinion the track only did well because it got so televised then people realised it was catchy then it started getting radio time, definitely a good track though.
In conclusion i do think that this is an alright album however i believe it wont be to many peoples liking and there are only a few tracks on the album worth a listen, going back now i probably wouldn't buy the album but if a fan of the genre maybe it's worth a purchase and maybe listen to the tracks on youtube before making the decision.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Black and White
2 Never Be Me Feat. Angel
3 Traktor Feat. L
4 Please Don't Let Me Go
5 Unorthodox Feat. Example
6 I'm Not The Man Feat. Angel & Chipmunk
7 Anniversary Feat. Alex Mills
8 Sane's The New Mad
9 Forgiveness Feat. Etta Bond
10 Long Way Home Feat. Daley
11 Let Yourself Go
12 Don't Be Afraid Feat. Delilah
13 Hush Little Baby Feat. Ed Sheeran
14 Don't Go Feat. Josh Kumra