Ben Drew aka Plan B, the rapper, singer-songwriter, actor and director is back with his latest effort, Ill Manors. Following a rise in popularity with recent album Strickland Banks, which, admittedly, left a lot to be desired for the fans who have been following him from earlier days, unhappy with aspects and the change of direction – this is an important chance to win back over some of his original fans.
Ill Manors is a Film and Music project from Plan B with the album being the supporting soundtrack to the British crime based film. It’s no surprise that this results in Plan B reverting back to the grittier sound that first shot him to prominence with his debut, Who Needs Action When you Got Words.
In between tracks there are snippets taken from the film, and this allows a narrative to unfold, which is a great technique used to keep the listener engaged. With collaborations from artists such as Labrinth, Kano and a truly exceptional coupling with the great wordsmith John Cooper Clarke on “Pity the Plight”, the album is chock full of tracks which allow Plan B to show off the fantastic rapping skills we know he’s capable of, with the same raw talent with which people fell in love with.
It’s great to see Plan B going back to doing what he does best, showing how he first burst on to the scene. The album is well crafted with some fantastic songs that revolve around the harsh reality of life. Following this release Plan B can go from strength to strength and with this album. He seems to be a lot more comfortable with this style than he was 2 years ago, with his very different, yet original, approach.