The unmistakeable voice of Mr Rodney Smith has been gracing the British Hip-Hop scene for over a decade now and here’s your chance to bear witness to his greatness at the Roundhouse in Camden on February 4th. His musical style has developed and matured over the years but there is something so genuinely British and remarkable about this artist, he’s practically a national treasure. Bearing more resemblance to the dark cloud bass of Tricky or the provincial working class lyrics of MC Pitman than any Hip-Hop you would hear of across the pond – it may not surprise you to hear that Rodney now spends most of his time in steel town Sheffield, rather than his hometown of London. Perhaps he finds more inspiration in Henderson’s relish than busy tubes? (and why not, we say.)
His talent, of course has not gone unnoticed, with the MOBOs awarding him breakthrough artist when he first came on the scene in 1998, followed by a steady stream of albums and collaborations since then. Word has it he’s even started writing an opera (let’s hope he hasn’t sought inspiration from R Kelly!) and he’s continuing to push boundaries by promoting ‘Dub College’ events that feature the likes of London-based producer The Bug and reggae legend Dawn Penn. So expect to be taken on a roller coaster ride of hip-hop, bass culture and strictly vibes to kick start your February rather brilliantly. (Words: Laura Thornley)
For more info, visit www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/productions/roots-manuva.