Plan B - Who Needs Actions When You Got Words

It's unlikely that Conservative MP David Cameron wil have this album on his IPOD after he infamously dissed Tim Westwood
s hip hop playlist as having a negative effect on the youth of today. When Plan B (known to his mum as Ben Drew) recorded his debut offering, it's very unlikely this Forest Gate stalwart would be bothered byt the ramblings of an ambitious Tory. "Who Needs Actions When You Got Words" is powerful, hard hitting, brutal and unapologetic yet it's laced with jet black humour, some inventive samples and lyrics which strike a chord with an honesty and clarity that is refreshing and shocking.

"No Good" has B spitting out his wors like venom in his distinctive East London accent over the harsh unforgiving beats as he articulates himself incandescent with rage with a barrage of expletives which would even have Gordon Ramsey blushing in shame. Plan B, unlike 99.9% of rappers can also sing, very well in fact as he sweetly soulfully demonstrates, using elements
from the track "You're No Good For Me". His work on the acoustic guitar is also up their with most full time strummers proving this young MC is a multi-tasker of the highest order.

"Charmaine" shows a softer, more romantic side to Plan B but this isn't your typical R&B "ooh baby you're so fine" slice of schmaltz the American would bore us with incessently. Instead using a story telling device, we learn about a man falling in love and the narrative feels real, his emotions are genuine and we hand on to his every word, so compelling the chain of events are until the unexpected announcement has us dumbfounded. The melody is luscious and sweeps you along effortlessly without a trace of uneccessary maukishness.

"Where You From" has a production reminiscent of Dr Dre with a piano intro, using strings to dramatic effect as a life surviving on the street tale manifests itself into the bleakness of the situation. It's not easy to listen to which makes it all the more vital for his words to be heard. "Couldn't Get Along" has a mellow Spanish guitar with a downbeat lyrical slant which culminates in the death of a dear friend. Plan B comes across as a genuinely decent guy as he tearfully comes to terms with such a tragic waste of a young life. It must take so much courage to re-live such events with clarity but Plan B never shies away from the harsh realities of life.

This is an album impossible to ignore. It's such an important piece of work from a rapper who's a real major talent.With Kano, Skinnyman, Lady Sovereign, Shystie and most famously the Strets, British hiph hop has never been in a healthier state and with Plan B added to the list, the talent just keeps getting brighter.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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