14 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Six years since his third album, Ill Manors, gave a compelling voice to London’s demonized and disenfranchised youth, rapper/singer Ben Drew returns, with the political landscape as volatile as ever. However, becoming a father has left him in a more introspective mood. Putting his intricate, angry bars on ice, he sets an aching croon to soul songs cut with hip-hop beats and indelible hooks while celebrating fatherhood (“Grateful”), dismissing his own absent dad (“Flesh & Bone”), and absorbing hard-won lessons in self-belief (“Heartbeat”). Raising a child inevitably brings worries about the wider world into sharp focus too, and “Guess Again” skewers “treacherous” Brexit-era politicking with fury, wit, and lurching dancehall.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Six years since his third album, Ill Manors, gave a compelling voice to London’s demonized and disenfranchised youth, rapper/singer Ben Drew returns, with the political landscape as volatile as ever. However, becoming a father has left him in a more introspective mood. Putting his intricate, angry bars on ice, he sets an aching croon to soul songs cut with hip-hop beats and indelible hooks while celebrating fatherhood (“Grateful”), dismissing his own absent dad (“Flesh & Bone”), and absorbing hard-won lessons in self-belief (“Heartbeat”). Raising a child inevitably brings worries about the wider world into sharp focus too, and “Guess Again” skewers “treacherous” Brexit-era politicking with fury, wit, and lurching dancehall.

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