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Lethal Bizzle - Back To Bizznizz

Lethal Bizzle, Back To Bizznizz

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

LETHAL Bizzle exists at the top end of the UK rap spectrum. His latest album Back To Bizznizz is a lethal combo of indie and grime (aka grindie) that contains plenty to recommend it, so long as you can get along with his raw vocal style.

Spearheaded by lead single Babylon’s Burning The Ghetto, it’s a strong collection of songs that even boast the presence of some marquee supporting contributions.

Babylon’s Burning… is a particularly damning indictment of Britain that takes swipes at the policies of both outgoing PM Tony Blair and his opponent David Cameron – “Tony said he’d make the world a better place but he lied” and “Cameron’s a fucking arse” are two of the choice phrases to emerge from it. Set against the backdrop of its jagged guitar loops, it’s an incendiary cocktail that forces you to take notice and bob your head along to it.

What’s more, it’s followed by the punk-grime crossover that is Boy, featuring Babyshambles. The song is an example of Lethal Bizzle at his most frenetic, motor mouthing his way through more social observations to the accompaniment of more jagged guitar riffs.

The album highlight, however, is his rock ‘n’ roll collaboration with Kate Nash, whose earthy sung vocals provide a nice contrast with Bizzle’s harder style. Look What You Done is a rollicking hip-swinger that’s arguably the most radio friendly track on the album – and it could well become a massive hit for Bizzle given Nash’s newfound prominence.

Other notable cuts include The Come Up, with its smart stabs of brass and synth throughout, the piano-based lament that is My Eyes, which unfolds into the album’s most soulful number, and final track Reflecting, which offers a laidback finale set against the backdrop of acoustic guitars, low-key beats and soulful female backing vocals.

Not everything makes the right impression. Those with an aversion to the grime scene won’t be won over by the harder edged likes of You’ll Get Wrapped (featuring Ghetto and Slinga RIP) or Police On My Back but even the most cynical observer has to admire Lethal Bizzle’s ability to fuse genres and transcend what could have been a limiting sound.

Back To Bizznizz therefore emerges as another significant success for the UK grime scene that does actually have the ability to boast widespread appeal in places. It’s hard-hitting, funny, observant and always has plenty to say. And it’s almost all worth listening to.

Download picks: Look What You Done, The Come Up, My Eyes, Reflecting

Track listing:

  1. Intro
  2. Mr.
  3. Bizzle Bizzle
  4. Babylon’s Burning The Ghetto
  5. Boy – Feat. Babyshambles
  6. Look What You Done – Feat. Kate Nash
  7. The Come Up
  8. My Eyes
  9. Sometimes I Think
  10. Police On My Back
  11. Selfridges Girl Not On Myspace
  12. You’ll Get Wrapped – feat. Ghetto And Slinga R.I.P.
  13. Reflecting