April 26, 2007

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Plan B, Who Needs Action When You Got Words
WEA Records, 2007

Grime is the rap world’s version of your friendly neighborhood Jehovah’s Witness, stubbornly knocking on doors that get slammed in its face seconds later. Not that this teenage Brit honky is overtly trying to be another Dizzee Rascal, but the grime sound — skittery cockney flows over funked-up noise and a time-weathered breakbeat — is Plan’s fallback position, as we find in “No Good,” irrespective of the decently done boy-band refrain provided by a set of backup singers who apparently warped in from nowhere. Eh, could be that song’s just a bit of payback for the .000 batting average of his predecessors in the States; if Mitchell Brothers weren’t going to put up a win, no one was. This kid ain’t goin’ out like that, though, and spends much of his time doing stupid MC tricks to prove as much, starting with an unplugged, slashing me-and-my-guitar rant whose x-rated lyrics could have Pretty Ricky narking him out to the PMRC (“Sick 2 Def”). Bonus points: no “check it” every five fricking seconds B — Eric W. Saeger