A slightly awkward but hard hitting MC
You’ll know Riz Ahmed as one of a bunch of hapless terrorists in Four Lions, and you’ll soon know him as the lead in Plan B’s film iLL Manors. But unlike fellow thespians who’ve embarrassed themselves by picking up the microphone (Depp, Crowe, Hasselhoff), Ahmed as Riz MC has stepped up to the plate as something of a hard hitter. Thought-provoking social topics pepper ‘MICroscope’, perhaps unsurprisingly from an Oxford University PPE graduate. And he flits with ease between tackling corrupt politicians (‘Hundreds & Thousands’) and twisted love (‘All Of You’ featuring Plan B), and climaxes with the old-but-still-poignant ‘Sour Times’, which goes heavy on Al Qaeda and the 7/7 London bombings. In parts Riz’s flow is slightly awkward, but his rhymes are tight and full of razor-sharp quips, and the production is slick and energetic from electro legend Zed Bias, while Bok Bok, Sukh Knight and dBridge all contribute remixes for the deluxe version.