Blade – Storms Are Brewing (2004) (CD) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

South London rapper Blade and DJ/producer Mark B may have led UK hip-hop’s charge to the mainstream but on Storms Are Brewing, the once again solo Blade is back preaching to the converted. A finger-wagging assault of woes, struggle and inhospitable backing tracks, it takes “keeping it real” very seriously; fuelling the faithful who marvel at the likes of diehard hero Rodney P’s grim political rhetoric rather than Roots Manuva’s trailblazing imagination and wit.Viewed as a strictly underground work and taken strictly in small doses, it’s not short of DIY impact. “Robot” backs Blade’s angrily spluttered warnings against conformity with bludgeoning metal riffs. “Pop Idol” is a demonic sideswipe at Simon Cowell and “Slapping Egos” rolls to disturbingly dogmatic old-skool loop. Over the full 13 tracks though, the bleak sermonising loses its bite. The constant brow beating about just how underrated he is could turn even his biggest fan against him and the incessant, one-dimensional backing means it won’t be long before Mark B’s musical dexterity is sorely missed. —Dan Gennoe01 Storms Are Brewing


02 Slapping Egos
03 Reflection
04 Blow You Out The Frame
05 I Wonder
06 Scream
07 Robot
08 Pop Idol ft. Stewart Macpherson
09 This Is My Life ft. Stewart Macpherson
10 Rink
11 Breathe
12 What Have We Done
13 The Journey ft. Stewart Macpherson

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