I sit on edge whenever I listen to a hip hop CD from the UK, purely because the majority of the material is not hip hop at all. But Ben Drew aka 'Plan B' has hit the mainstream with his debut album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words.
For someone that has never really been impressed by the albums of UK artist , one listen of this album was all it took. I was simply blown away. Every track, every word, had so much passion, so much meaning that it took me back to the greatness of The Marshall Mathers LP when it was released by Eminem in May 2000.
There are many songs on the album that shine through in my personal opinion, the first that really hits home is a track called 'Charmaine' in which Plan B talks of a relationship with a girl that he meets while waiting for a train, her name being Charmaine. He goes onto talk about taking her out and falling in love with her among other things. The song finishes with a huge twist, as while talking to his friend about his new found love, his friend replies "That girl's 14" leaving you wanting to know more about what happens next.
The most controversial track on the album comes in the form of 'Tough Love'. This is where you can feel the influences of Eminem the most. The song is based around a young religious girl called 'Sunita' whose father regularly mistreats her and after a while rebels against her violent parents by purchasing a copy of the teenage magazine 'Bliss' and while doing so, skipping her prayer time. When she returns home, Plan B begins to talk in sickly detail how her mother and father violently torture their daughter for her wrong doing, claiming that she was possessed by Satan. The song is ended with Plan B stating "What makes this tale all the more gory, is that this song is based on a true story"
Another song with hugely powerful lyrics is 'I don't hate you' in which Plan B talks about the broken relationship with his religious father. Lyrics include "I don't hate you, I don't love you either, you don’t mean nothing to me, just another geezer".
Other great tracks on the album include 'Kidz' in which he discusses the mentality of youths today, and 'No More Eating'.
I have never before felt so much pride in UK hip hop as I do know that 'Plan B' has hit the scene. His witty, and sometimes controversial lyrics provide a perfect platform as he delivers quite possibly one of the greatest albums that a UK artist has ever put out. Big up the UK!