Roll Deep

Rules & Regulations

Firstly ‘Rules…’ is a ‘street record’ –a mixtape of dark rhymes and coarse beats, so don’t expect any more ghetto disco like previous single ‘The Avenue’. No, this is dark, serious and all the better for it. Roll Deep’s radar sometimes veers wildly off course when they attempt to go pop, and it’s no wonder – it’s the equivalent of Gallows trying to record a chart topper. Freed from any affected pop sensibility, the crew are transparently feeling a new lease of life. In fact, they’re enjoying it so much they’ve packed 18 tracks on to this over-burdened disc. Never mind, when they’re as brilliantly formed as the story-telling ‘Bad Man’, as celestial as the synth monster of ‘Respect Us’, or such an odd mix of retro-electro and heavyweight MCing as ‘Do This Ting’, who cares? Alongside Klashnekoff and Dizzee, Roll Deep are redesigning British rap, incorporating conscious, social concerns into hard-edged street frames. Essential.

Alex Miller