By a million miles the best thing Plan B has ever done
So just as advertised, after the airwave-pummelling soulboy phase comes the return to hip-hop. And grimey, back-alley, do-it-your-fucking-self hip-hop at that. The million square-shaped customers Ben Drew picked up with ‘…Strickland…’ are strongly advised to try before they buy. Plan B’s people are advised not to pre-order that second yacht just yet.
Which, conversely, is good news for those of us who preferred Plan B as the Biro-wielding, twisted storyteller of old. Here, having effortlessly become the most compelling pop star in Britain, he’s in social commentary mode – even if “commentary” drastically undersells how incendiary this musical trailer for his forthcoming feature film really is.
Over an infectious collage of string stabs, dubstep whirrs and intermittent breakbeats, he paints a warts-and-all picture of post-riots Britain, calls David Cameron a “stupid cunt” for telling people to hug a hoodie then throwing them all in jail, then blasts, “If you believe what you read in the papers, then council estate kids are scum of the Earth”. Importantly, through all the fire being spat – and in stark contrast to the politicians he chastises – you can feel that Ben Drew really cares.
‘iLL Manors’ is about love as much as it is about hate. It’s also by a million miles the best thing Plan B has ever done.