S.P.R.10, or Ben Spurr as his mates call him, is a Lincolnshire based rapper with a mission to break through to the mainstream. Previously better known for writing about other peoples music (on this very site no less) than making his own, his demo Seven Steps Forward, Ten Steps Back proved he had as much talent with the mic as he did with the pen. With his new single Turn Away just released it seems like S.P.R.10 has not only found a solid new style but a crossover track that could make it big in the mainstream.
When the song starts you may be mistaken in thinking you had put the wrong CD on. Opening unexpectedly with a haunting slow piano the simple refrain is accompanied by at first a guitar and then the heartfelt vocals of singer and musician Roper who sings about leaving the love of his life. Roper’s vocal is sincere and emotive and more reminiscent of Coldplay or Snow Patrol than the usual hip hop vocalist making the tune sound more like an indie ballad than UK Hip Hop. However as the track speeds up and the heavy drums kick in and S.P.R.10 finally takes up the mic we are back in more familiar territory.
What Turn Away gives us is something fresh and new in its blending of two musical genre’s in one song and credit must be given to Lincoln producer Steve McGagh who balances each part expertly adding rich orchestral chords behind S.P.R.10’s rhymes and bringing the catchy chorus back enough times to get it firmly engrained in your membrane.
With some solid rap lyrics, a great sing-along chorus, a distinct original sound and more cross over appeal than Jay-Z covering Oasis or Nas singing on a Blur track this has hit written all over it and if given the proper air play and exposure could easily make it into the mainstream charts.
By: Alex Humphrey