Wretch 32 :: released October 21 2011
"Wretch 32 is one of the best lyricists in the game" - Tinie Tempah
"I’ve been a big fan of Wretch 32 since I heard his single Traktor..." - Mark Ronson
Everybody’s talking about 26 year old Jermaine Scott, aka Wretch 32. Adele, Jessie J and Rio Ferdinand have penned excited tweets about him, Liam Gallagher and Nikki Minaj have praised his music in interviews, 50 Cent’s blogged about him, and P Diddy and Mark Ronson have asked him to jump up on stage with them. Chipmunk, The Streets and Wiley were among the first to ask him to record with them, and Professor Green and Tinie Tempah followed suit shortly after, inviting him to support them on tour. While Ian Brown gave him the green light to use a sample from the Stone Roses’ Fools Gold for his char topping single ‘Unorthodox’, a collaboration with fellow London rapper Example, who has compared Wretch’s ‘charismatic, effortless flow’ with that of Jay Z.
Black and White, has far more in common with the diversity and depth of a classic hip hop album than the often formulaic and samey sounds of recent offerings from the UK grime scene. From the infectiously guitar-laden bounce of ‘Unorthodox’ and the lacerating dancehall beat and subsonic bassline of ‘Traktor’ through to the heartfelt soul of ‘Anniversary’, the rhythmically reggae infused ‘Breathe’ and the poignantly emotive down tempo hop hop anthem in the making and forthcoming single, ‘Don’t Go’, Wretch 32’s debut album boasts a kaleidoscope of musical influences and references that guarantee its universal appeal. Lyrically Wretch 32 steers away from clichéd self-aggrandising boasting and couplets about fame and girls, and instead paints incisive and colourful vignettes of everyday working-class city life from the prospective of a young man born and raised on one of the most notorious estates in London. Packed with quirky and humorous narratives and innovative and poetic metaphors, Black and White confirms Wretch’s status as the MC’S MC, positioning him as potentially the most interesting lyricist this country has produced since Mike Skinner.