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Roots Manuva

Rodney Hylton Smith, better known by his stage name Roots Manuva (born 8 September 1972), is an English rapper signed to Big Dada. Smith grew up around Stockwell, London, England. His parents were from a small village in Jamaica where his father was a preacher and tailor. He spent much of his early life in poverty and this and his strict Pentecostal upbringing had an influence on his music as can be heard in many of his tracks such as "Sinny Sin Sins" and "Colossal Insight".

Releasing for Coldcut's renowned experimental/hip hop label Ninja Tune in 1998, some of his music may ...read more

Rodney Hylton Smith, better known by his stage name Roots Manuva (born 8 September 1972), is an English rapper signed to Big Dada. Smith grew up around Stockwell, London, England. His parents were from a small village in Jamaica where his father was a preacher and tailor. He spent much of his early life in poverty and this and his strict Pentecostal upbringing had an influence on his music as can be heard in many of his tracks such as "Sinny Sin Sins" and "Colossal Insight".

Releasing for Coldcut's renowned experimental/hip hop label Ninja Tune in 1998, some of his music may be seen as a predecessor of grime. The following year he released his debut album, Brand New Second Hand. A reference to his family's modest lifestyle, the title is a phrase his mother used for presents he got as a youngster that were pre-used. The single "Witness (1 Hope)", from his second album Run Come Save Me, with its lyrical flow and heavy shuffling squelch bass (allegedly a result of Smith trying to copy the Doctor Who theme) is a UK rap anthem. He had such an impact on the UK rap scene that The Times said that "his is the voice of urban Britain, encompassing dub, ragga, funk and hip hop as it sweeps from crumbling street corners to ganja-filled dancehalls, setting gritty narratives against all manner of warped beats." Manuva was rewarded for his breakthrough with a MOBO as Best Hip Hop Act that year.

Of his early discovery of music he says. "It was as a kid. Before I even knew what a sound system was. I was walking past Stockwell skateboard park and there was this sound being set up. They were probably just trying out their speakers. I was with my mum, holding my mum's hand. And I remember my mum being quite intimidated by the whole affair. Such a barrage of bass coming from it! And these dodgy-looking blokes standing beside it just admiring the sound of their bass. It's just a bass thing. A volume thing. I don't know if I rose-tint the memories, but I remember it sounded so good, so rich. It's not like today when we go to clubs and it hurts. It was more of a life-giving bass." « hide

Similar Bands: The Cinematic Orchestra, Natti, DJ Food, Jehst

LPs
Bleeds
2015

3.5
11 Votes
4everevolution
2011

3
6 Votes
Slime & Reason
2008

2.9
18 Votes
Awfully Deep
2005

3.5
25 Votes
Run Come Save Me
2001

3.6
42 Votes
Brand New Second Hand
1999

4
36 Votes
EPs
Facety 2:11
2015

3.9
4 Votes
Compilations
Alternately Deep
2006

3.5
5 Votes
Dub Come Save Me
2002

3.5
13 Votes

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