Ben Drew to release 'The Ballad Of Belmarsh' on his own
Plan B will release his new album himself after his record label rejected his return to hip-hop.
After this year’s ‘The Defamation Of Strickland Banks’, a concept soul album, it seems the record company were not too keen to see him return to the genre he started out in, suggesting they were “over the moon” when he announced he would release the project without them.
“I was offended but I said, ‘Alright, cool’. This is the compromise – I take that hip-hop record, I put it out on my own label and you own none of it,” Plan B, real name Ben Drew, told BBC Newsbeat. “I’ll promote it off the back of my soul record and that’s what I’m doing.”
The album, entitled ‘The Ballad Of Belmarsh’, is a hip-hop “version of events” depicting the story of Plan B‘s alter ego Strickland Banks.
“The label said, ‘Look, we love your soul record. We know what to do with that,” he explained. “With the hip-hop it’s not going to get play on radio, we don’t know how to market it and we’re not feeling it’.”
Plan B said he recognised that the album does not have the appeal of his latest success ‘The Defamation Of Strickland Banks’ – which has sold more than 500,000 copies.
“I know ‘The Ballad Of Belmarsh’ is not going to work commercially, I know radio ain’t going to play it but I’m still going to put it out there because I love it. It’s a piece of art,” he said. “It’s probably going to sell about 100,000 copies – no more. But I’m cool with that.”
Meanwhile, Plan B has announced a full UK arena tour, which takes place in March next year.