East London rapper Lethal Bizzle’s superb new album Back To Bizznizz defies easy categorisation – and it certainly can’t simply be filed under “grime”.
The album contains heavyweight club bangers, such as the brilliantly hyperactive “Bizzle Bizzle”. And the raw realism and lyrical flow of grime are all present and correct.
But Back To Bizznizz successfully draws from an extraordinarily diverse pallette of music – taking in indie, hip-hop, punk and much more.
When it comes to young, black “street” music, taking such an approach often means diluting a previously exciting form of music by making it safe for a mass audience.
But in Lethal’s case, it is a healthy sign of the way in which young British music scenes and artists are increasingly mixing and influencing each other.
This “grindie” style was pioneered by producer DJ Statik, who contributes four tracks on this album.
But it is becoming increasingly popular – witness Dizzee Rascal working with the Arctic Monkeys, or Lily Allen and Lethal’s own live shows with punk rock act Gallows and new indie star Jack Penate.
Back To Bizznizz sees excellent collaborations with Babyshambles on “Boy” and with Kate Nash on “Look What You Done”.
At times the album’s cross-genre mix is reminiscent of the “punky reggae party” of the late 1970s and Rock Against Racism – and in fact Lethal and Babyshambles are at the forefront of artists supporting Love Music Hate Racism today.
Back to Bizznizz
CD out now