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Various Artists: Run the Road

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (p.70) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "Songs like 'Mic Fight' simmer with cockney aggression."

Spin (p.62) - Ranked #22 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2005" - "Documenting the rise of England's fiercest MCs, RUN established a movement in progress."

Spin (pp.104-105) - "It's the best kind of posse album - everyone's in the same crew, adding their voice to the shared sound."

Entertainment Weekly (No. 813, p.67) - "[Features] beats more chaotic than a rugby scrum and accents thicker than kidney pie..." - Grade: B+

Mojo (Publisher) (p.101) - 3 stars out of 5 - "The music's stark minimalism is thrilling..."

Album Notes

The 16-track compilation RUN THE ROAD is the stateside coming-out party for the UK scene known as "grime." Mixing elements of techno, drum-and-bass, reggaeton, and hardcore rap, grime was born in the housing projects of London, and came of age in the city's underground clubs and on independently produced recordings. The backing to grime tracks is often 1980s-inspired, with highly processed beats and thin keyboard sounds that evoke the era of Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa. Yet the raps are utterly contemporary, unleashed at a furiously accelerated pace in a dizzying, pan-global mix of hip-hop street-slang, West Indies patois, and London working-class accents.

Two artists associated with grime-- the Streets and Dizzee Rascal--have made commercial headway in the States (both performers appear here with B-sides previously available only on import). But the real revelation is the caliber of artists like Kano (whose "P's and Q's" is a highlight), No Lay (one of the few women here), and Wonder & Plan B (who offer up the spare, funky anthem "Cap Back"). A superb introduction to a just-breaking genre, 2005's RUN THE ROAD hits with all of the unadulterated force of something just let out of the box.


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