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Microphone Champion - Skepta

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Artist: Skepta / CD / Audio CD released 2009-06-01 at SRD / Boy Better Know

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      22.07.2009 18:56
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      Skepta's second labum

      The Grime artist and Boy Better Know member Skepta followed-up his "Greatest Hits" debut in 2007 with "Microphone Champion" as his second album in 2009 to keep the flow going for the BBK camp and all the artists (such as JME, Jammer and Wiley) who at the time were carrying on the trend of experimentation as they move back towards the club scene for influence from the UK Funky, Bassline and general House fields to come out with more varied material from the Londoner.

      1. "Reflecting" (Intro)

      2. "Are You Ready?"

      After some fresh rhymes where he sets the scene for things, you find that he gets into more of the sorts of big beats which were used in Wiley's 2009 album "Race Against Time". Wiley is also seen to join him on the hook to assist as he lets people know what he's about to do on this album and why he can't be doing with any beef with people who aren't prepared to put up what he is to liven you up.

      **Five Stars**

      3. "Oh My Gosh"

      This is one you get the first real club tune on the album as he gets down to one where he is able to jump into material which is seen to have advanced massively from the amateurish things which came of his debut. It is a banger of a tune and gets him showing off just how well he has developed (but it doesn't really matter when backed by such strong post-Garage club beats to get you moving to) as he does some conscious rhymes.

      **Five Stars**

      4. "Look Out"

      Giggs backs him up on this one as he jumps on top of more production which is designed to force you to move when you're going out, and so it means tha although he has the potential to throw down some heavy flows, it isn't really needed in this case again as he has the opportunity to relax it all (which he does by taking on a simplistic rhyming structure to match what the guest rhymer provides.

      **Four Stars**

      5. "Sticks & Stones"

      This one has him on top of beats which take you right back to the days when Grime was initially established as a fully-fledged sub-genre taken from a blend of UK Rap and Garage in 2003 and 2004 and so it seems to bring you into years which brought about so much excitement to make you feel the same about what he gives the listeners here. He lets everyone know, despite he's game being about words, he won't be broken by them.

      **Five Stars**

      6. "Too Many Man"

      Also finding its way onto Wiley's "Race Against Time", this is a club banger which was heard from 2008 is what you get here as Wiley gets into his hyped material, in which he works with other members of the Boy Better Know click in to act as an anthem to those who end up in the clubs and discover that there simply aren't enough girls to entertain the mass of men present when they hit the streets.

      **Five Stars**

      7. "Lush"

      Jay Sean is found to give his R&B vocals to give things a boost as together they come up with a song which takes on a format which seems to support the style which is prominent in the US scene with Rap/R&B collaborations. I felt that it was one which didn't quite do what the best names in America could (probably down to the fact I don't really enjoy Jay Sean's role in it) but it still sits as a big tune on the record.

      **Four Stars**

      8. "My Emotions"

      With this one you seem to get a track which acts as a sequel to the track prior to it as after taking things to the clubs and hooking up with a girl, Skepta advances it here with much more conservative production to give him the chance to have some fun with her (as he does here). On this one you find that he tries out some much more humorous rhymes here to show that there is more to him than what was previously seen.

      **Four Stars**

      9. "Skepta"

      This self-entitled one has him, just as many others in 2009 had, taking things back to his Old School as with this one he takes on some New Jack Swing beats with a James Brown groove as he jumps on DJ Mark The 45 King's "900 Number" as he takes on the rhyme structure found on Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock's "It Takes Two" to pull him along the way for a banger of a tune to liven up all of those who grew up with his generation.

      **Five Stars**

      10. "Amsterdam" (Lude)

      11. "Disguise"

      Both JME and Jammer are seen to back him up to show that most of the big names in the BBK crew are down to work with him on this album and they seem to produce a banger of a joint as they take things right down to the dingy side of Grime which weren't seen for some time as they do a funny tune to work off the hype of the interlude proper to it as they rhyme about how they have been tricked by transvestites.

      **Five Stars**

      12. "Gingerbread Man"

      With this one the humour is seen to persist through things as he gets on top of some deep beats to show how the heavy electronic bass grooves in the Bassline seen have influenced what they choose to rhyme on top of here as this is what you get from it as he talks of how far ahead of the game he is and how all of his haters have nothing on him when it comes to the raw skills which he displays every time he lays it down.

      **Five Stars**

      13. "Ed Hardy Party"

      The annoying Tinchy Stryder is seen to back him on this one as the two of them rhyme solely about the Ed Hardy brand. As someone who doesn't really get the garish clothing line, I wasn't really down for the things which they had to rap about for this one, but I felt the way that they shoed appreciation for it and how well it came together for this one. It uses production taken directly from that of Drumma Boy's and The Runners', so it isn't really creative, but does the job.

      **Four Stars**

      14. "Madness"

      On this one he is seen to get even more collaborative work with other local Grime artists in a track which has him rapping in a style which seems to get him coming with a much more serious style to show that he is getting back on track with more intense material to intimidate those who are likely to find as many flaws as they can on the album. It is a rough track form him and it does big things here.

      **Five Stars**

      15. "Over The Top"

      Sampling the Audio Two's "Top Billin'" in the way tha 50 cent did with "I get Money", this one has him showing even more influences from the US Hip Hop scene and it makes for a heavy tune as they take on the buck chanting and Snap Music format to make for a track which reflects the way that Grime seems to gradually be working towards. It appealed to my tastes massively and it brought out the best in his work.

      **Five Stars**

      16. "Dark"

      On this one you get a fast-paced tune which samples a popular work to guide him through as he does some cold rhymes to move things more towards the Gangsta Rap side of things to seem to advance what was found on the track prior to this one to show that here he will explore it extensively to make a strong impression upon the listener and show how far he is willing to take it on this occasion.

      **Five Stars**

      17. "Sunglasses At Night"

      This was a popular single from the album and has him exploring the club scene for a bit of a change here it is one which I took some time to really feel, but one I could really enjoy it as he takes on lots of things that Wiley had offered to the game (most notably in the form of "I Wear My Own Garms" and "Wearin' My Rolex") to make for a UK Funky-Grime link-up to get you moving and hyped as it moves towards the end.

      **Four Stars**

      18. "Rolex Sweep"

      Released as a sequel to Wiley's "Wearin' My Rolex", this is the official dance tune to accompany the original song and a track which has him showing the trends in the London rave scene and how it has taken to the dance craze fad as the Caribbean and the Dirty South of the USA had before it as he challenges the likes of 50 Cent (who I can't recall being know for dances), Soulja Boy (responsible for "Crank That" and Michael Jackson (for obvious reasons) in a dance-off.

      **Five Stars**

      This is a strong album from Skepta and one which really out-does what is found on his debut as you see that he stays contemporary and comes out with a wide range of effective tunes which show his talent well both with the club tracks and the much more lyrically-demanding cuts to make for a well-rounded release.

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