Roots Manuva will land in Leeds on Thursday 26th October and Manchester on Friday 3rd November for two big headline shows, both must-attend events for the city’s hip hop fans. Now a respected elder of the UK hip hop scene after more than twenty years with mic in hand, the Big Dada star is up there with the best wordsmiths that British music has produced in recent decades.
Nine albums down the line from his first ventures into music, Rodney Smith has been ascribed as the “voice of urban Britain” ten times over, his heavily accented delivery and often very British content earning him a weighty title whether desired or not. Famous for spouting lyrics that are embraced to the point of becoming catch phrases, Roots Manuva has become a champion of a genre that has danced along the edges of mainstream charts without ever falling in, making him a household name to households in the know, and a shadowy figure to those less informed. UK hip hop may remain an underground sensation, but to those who follow it there are few artists bigger than Roots. Commander of paradigmatic tracks like “Witness” and “Let The Spirit”, Roots has more material than could be played in a week of shows, so the quality will be sky-high as he whittles it down to fit sets at O2 Academy Leeds and Manchester's O2 Ritz.
Photo courtesy of Andy Swannell via Ninja Tune