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Brand New Second Hand

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 23, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

For a long time, it seemed like any sort of hip-hop that came from Great Britain was immediately labeled "trip-hop." But it's impossible to pigeonhole crews like Black Twang and London rapper Roots Manuva into that category--and sometimes it's tough to slot Roots Manuva into any category. Unfortunately, the production on this album is spotty, veering uncomfortably from the hopelessly fractured reggae of "Dem Phonies" to the live funk of "Fever." Roots Manuva's skills, though, are undeniable, and he maneuvers through tracks like "Big Things" and "Baptism" with a keen intellect and an impressive moral authority. His Brit-accented flow differs greatly from that of his American peers, though, and may prove to be an acquired taste for some. Flawed as it may be, Brand New Second Hand shows that international hip-hop need not mimic that of the States in order to compete--but it could take some lessons in the studio. --Justin Hampton

Review

Manuva shifts from abstract to narrative with offhand skill, aiming toward a Euro-American hip-hop future full of deep, dubby possibilities. -- Spin

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Movements
  2. Dem Phonies
  3. Juggle Tings Proper
  4. Inna
  5. Soul Decay
  6. Baptism
  7. Strange Behaviour
  8. Organ Skit
  9. Big Tings Gwidarn
  10. Sinking Sands
  11. Wisdom Fall
  12. Roots-Fi Discotheque (Skit)
  13. Clockwork
  14. Cornmeal Dumpling
  15. Fever
  16. Oh Yeah...
  17. Motion 5000


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Big Dada Records
  • ASIN: B00000ICLB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,941 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
At first, you may be put off buying this album, especially if you are no great hiphop fan. I had heard one track before "clockwork", and was hoping for some intelligent rap. I was skeptical, because everyone knows British hiphop sucks, don't they?
This album busts down that stereotype, and should be seen as a warning to the USA, that others are producing brilliant hiphop too. Roots Manuva has a distinctive style that takes some getting used to, and at first I only liked a few tracks. However the album has definately grown on me, as I kept going back again and again, discovering fresh tracks.
The lyrics are intelligent, and refreshingly free of the gangsta stereoypes of some US hiphop. The beats are hard and funky, but if you're looking for more "Dusted" (the track he did with leftfield), you may be disappointed, the feel here is much more hiphop.
Tracks such as "Baptism" "Soul Decay" and "Fever" all carry different feelings, and meanings. My favourite has to be "motion 5000" with its brilliant string arrangement perfectly complementing the rhymes..
All up, a mind blowing album that will renew your faith in hiphop.
Oh yeah, if you have the album and are looking for other tracks from Roots, I can recommend "jusjus" with Mr. Scruff, and "Starlight" with The Herbaliser.
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Format: Audio CD
Roots Manuva - "Brand New Second Hand": Roots Manuva (aka "Rodney smith"), has managed to crave out something of a niche following for himself in the UK, since this his 1999 Debut "Brand New Second Hand", a supremely talent Rapper/Producer, who's intriguing take on UK life, through a distinctly Jamaican ideals and mentality, have garnered him various awards in the UK press (and narrowly missing a 'Mercury Music' award) . Unfortunately for him, the UK hip-hop market, just isn't anywhere near as big as it's US equivalent, and so, his albums (all critically appladed), just haven't managed to translate into significant sales. But please don't let that stop you from picking up this album for one of the UK's most incisive and distinctive voices.

One of the main appeals of Roots Manuva's work, isn't just the swaggering beats or the distinctly original approach to production, which is a mixture of swaggering rhythms, hard-edged beats, syncopated percussion, a strong tendency toward dubwise beats, bottomless bass and reverberating vibes, or oddball squelches and aggressive sounds and energetic thumps. It's that it owes as much to: Ragga, Dancehall, Electronica, & Dub, as it does U.K. Hip-Hop, and although there's a strong element of bass heavy sounds, it's the diversity and ingenuity of production throughout the album that immediately impresses.

but as hugely impressive as the production sides of things are, it also equally as much to do with the fact that he is a distinctly impressive lyricist/Vocalist.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
The one note of warning: skip that second track. Boy is it bad. Otherwise, this album is one of the great moments in music in which an artist with a unique sound, unique perspective and unique purpose come together to form a power which can't be ignored. Roots Manuva expresses an intelligent, politically charged message without resorting to the almost whining self-consciousness of the anti-gansta movement. This album is dark, smooth and lyrically unique in ways which make most American acts look like first-graders writing their first rhymes. Yet another example that the Real Thing is happening not just outside New York City but outside the United States altogether.
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Format: Audio CD
Rae and Christian are often credited as displaying that British Hip-Hop is around and sounds good. But as dj's/producers they have SFA to do with it's renewed respect I feel. Because Roots Manuva and dj's such as Leftfield have had the most to say. With the long awaited follow up to Leftism, Leftfield feature Roots on thier newest album. And in 'Phat Planet' he does a grand job too. However when I brought his debut long player; Brand New Second Hand' I was blown away.
Not being a hip-hop fiend or anything of that description, I immediately took to Roots' disjointed breaks and chopped-up beats. Respect double big time must also go out to Mr Manuva for refraining from employing a US accent - while only a minor effort, it serves his talent well. And finally, I was drawn in by his political bend, "the IMF wont write-off the third world debt, 'cause they profit from holding it down". Mr Manuva is the Master!
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Format: Audio CD
South London-based Roots Manuva drops his much anticipated debut longplayer, dispelling the myth that rap is strictly an American phenomenon. Affiliated with old school hip-hop/breakbeat enthusiasts The Herbaliser, Roots engages in a hip-hop form that draws from its American origins, but creatively intersperses Jamaican patois/toasting into the stew (paying homage to his Caribbean heritage as well as indirectly to Kool DJ Herc, the Jamaican-born breakbeat master responsible for ground zero of rap back in the early 1970s in the South Bronx). Rough and rugged, Roots moves with an unpretentious ease rarely found in this medium. For those hip-hop headz who enjoy hearing how rap successfully transcends boundaries of locale and accent (more experimental souls should investigate French outfits such as Supreme N.T.M., Les Sages Poetes De La Rue, I.A.M., Akhenaton, Kartel Double Detente, etc.). Recommended without hesitation nor reservation.
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