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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.
Jermaine Scott or Wretch 32 as he is better known is an MC and rapper from Tottenham in North London. This was of course where the rioting and looting all started last month after the police killing of a local man, Mark Duggan. He is or was certainly last month, topical and one of his singles (Don't Go) from this album actually made it to number one quite recently. Wretch 32 was born in 1985 and is the son of a reggae DJ and grew up on the Tiverton estate in South Tottenham.His father was actually involved in the Broadwater Farm riot in 1985 . Despite his recent success, he still resides in the notorious Tiverton estate he grew up on.On the recent riots he is quite honest in his evaluation saying "This whole situation is very difficult for me, because I understand the frustration but I also see exactly how crazy it is." In this review I will be giving a view on some of the main tracks off this album and then a general view on the album itself.
1. "Black and White"
2. "Never Be Me" (featuring Angel)
3. "Traktor" (featuring L)
4. "Please Don't Let Me Go" (featuring Darren B)
5. "Unorthodox" (featuring Example)
6. "I'm Not the Man" (featuring Chipmunk & Angel)
7. "Anniversary (Fall in Love)" (featuring Alex Mills)
8. "Sane's the New Mad"
9. "Forgiveness" (featuring Etta Bond)
10. "Long Way Home" (featuring Daley)
11. "Let Yourself Go"
12. "Don't Be Afraid" (featuring Delilah)
13. "Hush Little Baby" (featuring Ed Sheeran
14. "Don't Go" (featuring Josh Kumra) 3:58
The album itself
The title track is an introduction to the album and also to himself as a person and what is to follow. He seems like one who is sticking to his roots and is someone who doesn't want to be pigeon holed. .
"While nuff man got murked I came out
In a benz
And yet I'm still on the ends
With not one new friend."
The next track is a decent track featuring another artist named Angel. He is giving more on his background and a story about his upbringing and some of his earlier life. Traktor is the first single off the album and it reached number 5 in the singles chart. This is a catchy and radio friendly track with a good beat. The next single off the album features another now pretty well known artist , Example. The track is called Unorthodox which samples The Stone Roses track 'fools gold'. It gets across the message of trying to break the mould and not be labelled or be put into one category in terms of their music. It also sends a positive message to be yourself. This track reached number 2 in the singles chart.
"We don't follow no crowd, they follow us
Don't follow no sound it follows us."
The next big track ('I'm not the man') features another well known artist now in the mainstream in the shape of Chipmunk. This is a pretty alright track also, nothing spectacular though. They try to paint a picture of some of the misery coming from where they are from. The next few tracks also are not all that spectacular but are not bad either. The next fully fledged feature comes from new kid on the block Ed Sheeran whose popularity has grown quite significantly recently. He has a good voice which works well with wretch to produce a good track ("Hush little baby)'. The final track and the number 1 single is 'Don't Go' featuring Josh Kumra. This is a strong track which appeals to the mainstream with good vocals from Kumra.
Wretch 32 is a guy that has come good from difficult beginnings and is an example for others to follow. He doesn't really rap about violence, drugs or how much money he has like quite a few others. The album is also more radio friendly and is able to appeal more to the mainstream and not just the urban underground crowd. There are a few mediocre tracks in between on this album but I would just about give this album 4/5 stars. It is not quite spectacular or ground breaking but it is still pretty good.
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