Roots Manuva – Run Come Save Me

Roots Manuva - Run Come Save MeNot counting Slick Rick, Roots Manuva is England’s finest rapper in my opinion. This is the cool sounding MC’s sophmore release.

1. Intro

2. Bashment Boogie 

Nothing special this track but a decent opener. Simple beat with a nice bassline. Manuva’s flow seems to fit nicely. Annoying bloke singing the hook though.

3. Witness (1 Hope)

Anyone who hasn’t heard this track (probably the majority) download it now. Bangin beat, lyrics, tight flow and check out that bassline. His best song to date.

4. Join the Dots

Real nice beat sounding similar to something Beatnuts might use. Don’t like whoever does the opening rap but normal service soon resumes. Great chorus too.

5. Interlude

6. Ital Visions

Strong Contender for best song on the album. Simple but nice beat with drums and synths, but once again its the amazing bassline which is the highlight. This track also shows how Manuva has improved lyrically since his debut, tackling some political issues amongst other topics.

7. Kicking the Cack 

Everything about this track is horrible. Skip this one everytime.

8. Dub Styles 

Quite annoying and repetitive beat, pretty crap lyrics and flow but something keeps me listening to this. Addictive.

9. Trim Body 

A pretty dark hardcore sound here. But ***** knows what he was smoking when he was recording the lyrics. Can’t hardly understand a word.

10. Artical 

Probably too hardcore for my taste. Beat is a simple drumline and bassline with Manuva spitting bars over it. Decent rap.

11. Hol’ it up 

Another speaker breaker in terms of Bass. Average track. I just don’t like the guest appearances – the English accent on them sounds horrible.

12. Stone The Crows 

I seriously will need some new woofer’s after this album’s bass has finished *****ing with them. I’d love to here a car bumping it. A good track. “Shouldn’t really be here shouldn’t really exist, shouldn’t take these drugs shouldn’t get so pissed”.

13. Sinny Sin Sins 

Another great track and probably the deepest one on here. Drums bassline and strings set the backdrop for Manuva to rap about his past, how he was forced to go to church and life etc.

14. Evil Rabbit 

A fantastic dark beat using a guitar. This track has really grown on me and Manuva sounds brilliant over this.

15. Swords in the Dirt 

A good track with everything from lyrics to beat sounding on point. Nice scrathes on the hook.

16. Highest Grade

Song bout weed. Another great bassline. Pretty average production. Not a particularly ear catching song.

17. Dreamy Days 

Despite this track having a video and some airplay, its still a real good track and not too commerical. Deep lyrics, great production.


Despite UK rappers hardly getting any recognition (and rightly so in most cases), Roots Manuva is certainly one talented rapper. There’s not person in rap who I can think of who sounds like him which immediately makes him unique. Although I imagine this is a hard album to find, if you can hunt one down – buy it, it won’t disappoint true hip hop fans.

3.5 seems like a too low score, and 4/5 seems a little too high – so you do the math.

Roots Manuva – Brand New Second Hand

Roots Manuva - Brand New Second HandI thought I’d ‘keep it real’ here and showcase this English rapper. Roots Manuva is from South London, and released this, his debut album in 1999. His website ( says of the album, “He could, after all, have taken the obvious big-money route and hired in a heap of famous guests to make safe, production-line hip hop. Instead he chose to spread the love a little”, by this meaning Manuva has no well known guests or production teams, just his own close people.

1. Movements
This is a great track to start with. Nice slow production, allowing Manuva to just flow over it with ease. Straight away with this first track Roots Manuva will strike you as a unique rapper, in terms of bothhis voice and flow.

2. Dem Phonies
I don’t like this track. Fairly garbage production andlikewise lyrics. Definately a track to skip in future.

3. Juggle Tings Proper
This is more like it. Hardcore beats which heavily rely on bass and drums. English or not, he can prove difficult to understand at times. Good track to bob your head to.

4. Inna
Make sure you got some good speakers for this one, the bass is a killer. One of the albums better tracks, this is a story about Roots’ escapades at a bar he visits on his own.

5. Soul Decay
Good production using a mix of drums and piano’s. This is a decent track in all respects.

6. Baptism
Garbage production spoils what is a decent few verses.

7. Strange Behaviour
My favourite track on the album. Heavy bass, good melody and a nice rap about Manuva bumping into a girl he used to know.

8. skit

9. Big Tings Gwidarn
Again, poor minimalistic production spoil a potential good song.

10. Sinking Sands
A good track. Whenever he is provided with a better beat, the song benefits as a whole as this proves. Great dark production and a good chorus.

11. Wisdom Fall
Another track which relies on drum beat and bass-line to carry it through. More of the same – good rapping, poor production.

12. Skit

13. Clockwork
A good track which flows along at a nice tempo, and the use of other instruments other than a drum are a welcome sound to the ear!

14. Cornmeal Dumpling
Another decent track but nothing special.

15. Fever
A very good track at last! A speedy piano loop and a keyboard are a good backdrop for this. There is no doubting Roots Manuva’s ability as a rapper.

16. Oh Yeah…
This track wouldn’t sound out of place on an old Wu-Tang album. Dark and hardcore production match the style of rapping nicely. A good track.

17. Motion 5000
Well Manuva goes instrument crazy on this one and gets in an orchestra. A great track not far from the style of Xzibit’s ‘Paparazzi’ track. Nice finish to the album.

Overall, Roots Manuva certainly comes onto the scene in a good fashion. While he impresses with his rapping, style, voice etc, it is the lacklustre production which lets the majority of this debut down. This is not to say the album is bad, just not as good as it could have been. This would have a hard time in America as it stands, but Manuva certainly has potential as a great.

New fans would be better off checking his follow-up album ‘Run Come Save Me’ before getting this.

Score = 3/5