Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Ill Manors - Plan B

Add a comment
British hip-hop musician Plan B. Photo / Supplied
British hip-hop musician Plan B. Photo / Supplied

"You're in for a harrowing ride" warns Plan B early on his third album. The 28-year-old British rapper, whose real name is Ben Drew, sure got that right: Ill Manors is an ambitious and uncompromising listen that serves as the soundtrack to a movie he wrote and directed of the same name.

The film follows a group of street thugs fighting for respect in a London slum and has been getting rave reviews, so it's no surprise that the accompanying soundtrack, a double album featuring new Plan B music and the film's score, is the perfect match.

Like Skinnyman's 2004 release Council Estate of Mind, Ill Manors is a grimy portrayal - Plan B calls it an "urban safari" - of British youth sub-culture revolving around drugs, gangs, violence, chavs and pregnant prostitutes.

Interspersed with movie quotes and police sirens, it's brutal, bruising stuff, like the chilling story of a pregnant heroin addict named Janet that opens Drug Dealer's sub-bass lope, the electronic breakbeat flurry of the title track and Great Day For a Murder's unsettling chimes, a song that opens with the line: "what a great day to go and get a gun".

Thankfully, it ends on a high note with the "everything will be okay" chorus of Falling Down, but Plan B is at his best detailing society's ills, and on Ill Manors he's found the form of his career.

Stars: 4/5
Verdict: British rapper's terrifying tour of London's underbelly

Buy a copy of Ill Manors by Plan B here.

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 24 May 2017 10:29:16 Processing Time: 527ms