Thursday, 12 April 2012

HIP HOP CLASSICS - Roots Manuva - 'Witness (1 Hope)

"I sit here contented with this cheese on toast"

Hip Hop Classics
Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope) (2011)

'Witness' is a huge track, released in 2001, it put Roots Manuva on the map, became a UK anthem and is probably one my favourite Hip Hop records of all time (ok, in my top 20).  With some clever rhyming and deadpan humour over one of the wickedest basslines your ever likely to hear, it's little wonder it has become a modern UK Hip Hop classic.

I'm perhaps showing my age now and it's certainly not so much the case anymore but UK Hip Hop had always been in the shadow of its supposed bigger, better contemporaries from across the pond. UK MC's always seemed to emulate their American peers in substance and style. But what I love about Roots Manuva is that he so unashamedly British, with such lines about downing 10 pints of bitter and eating cheese on toast and it's that brilliant humour which makes him so endearing (you just need to see the video for example). Not to mention mixing in Jamaican influences to his music, with patois, dub and reggae making it always innovative and against the grain.

Roots Manuva - Tune Doctor
Roots Manuva....likes cheese on toast!
For the gamers out there, don't you think that the twinkling sound sounds like Super Mario Brothers game on the Super Nes? 

It makes me chuckle as I remember having to sneak into my roommate's room to play the game. He was pretty particular and didn't want anyone to mess with his system (fair enough I guess). But somehow he always seemed to know I'd been playing his Nintendo despite me putting everyting back exactly as they were. It had me thinking back to Kathy Bates's character in the movie 'Misery', as on replacing the controller back on the counter, maybe it wasn't facing due south!

Roots Manuva - 'Again and Again' (2008)

Ok here's a little bit of a bonus for y'all, another top track from a later album and a great example of his unique style. Hear meh kno!!

Check dis....official website here!

Re-live your sports days and Hip Hop Classics here..

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HIP HOP CLASSICS - Roots Manuva - 'Witness (1 Hope)
4/ 5


12 April 2012 at 11:42

Love Roots Manuva. I'm no expert whe it comes to Hip-Hop but, for, he's the man. Like you say, not afraid top be British and very, very inventive lyrically and musically. 'Run Come Save Me' and its dub cousin will always ride high for me.

12 April 2012 at 11:43

Sorry 'bout the typos. In a hurry.

13 April 2012 at 15:04

Thanks SB, those a are great albums. He also recently made a reggae album of versions of his songs called 'Duppy Writer', well worth investigating as I know you like Reggae...

17 April 2012 at 03:00

Enjoyed them two....and pricless sure you must have Duppy Writer can you send

18 April 2012 at 23:07

They were great bruv! He's got a lovely bass voice and is full of english charm. Are you sure it was the snes?
Kathy bates might have preferred the second track coz she could've used a cricket bat instead of a mallet.