If the aim of ‘Food 4 Da Brain Second Serving’ wasn’t to serve up a platter of perfectly complementing flavours then I’ll eat my hat. If that is what they set out to do then they’ve royally achieved it. The menu offers up tracks from the finest chefs on either side of the UK Hip Hop / Grime divide; in fact it tastily demonstrates the breaking down of the boundary.
With artists like Ghetto and Virus Syndicate represent Grime, rappers and producers such as Kashmere, Verb T, M9 and Jon Phonics provide the Hip Hop and MCs like Skinnyman, Klashnekoff, Mr Ti2bs and Shameless defy pigeon holing altogether.
MCD sets things off with a self-produced, firmly on the grime side, dubplate proving he has progressed and embraced newer, but rooted in older, music styles. Beat Butcha follows up with his remix of Terra Firma’s ‘Git Down’ and it’s just what you’d expect from that collaboration. Chemo then pops up as producer of Manage’s thriller ‘No One Needs To Know’ featuring LeEo. Mr Ti2bs, Virus Syndicate and Ghetto continue to provide quality platters of goodness, all challenging the listener to label it as either Grime or Hip Hop.
Skinnyman and Deadly Hunta serve one of the albums most delicious tracks – ‘Ballistic Affair’ which also comes in the form of a cool animated video on the accompanying DVD. Invisible Inc then provides a rest between courses with their ‘Invisible’ (or is it ‘Invisible Inc Theme’? It’s the same track that’s on 'Rapsploitation Sessions').
Supar Novar and Big Ben heat things up again and Jon Phonics follows with a remix of M9’s ‘Strange Fruit’ (possibly better than the album version?). Deadly Hunta brings a few more raga vibes on ‘Valley of Death’ and Foreign Beggars come with some electro-funk and Pharrell-esque vocals. Shameless, Bruza and Ghetto finish the sitting with some hard-as-nails riddims.
I can see what the guys behind this have done: they’re on a mission, a mission to blur the boundaries, to lure Hip Hop heads over to the Grime side and vice-versa. This is all about the music, and despite my review, it’s not about genre. This is, actually, what Hip Hop was – the combination of other music forms, a new way of expression that utilises the sounds around it. So whatever you’re preference, buy this and think about the message it not so subtly puts across, ask yourself: ‘Am I open minded?’ Let’s hope so.
01. MCD-Food4DaBrain Dubplate (Prod By MCD) [02:51]
02. Terra Firma-Git Down RMX (Prod By Beat Butcha) [03:22]
03. Manage-No One Needs To Know (ft. LeEo) (Prod By Chemo) [03:13]
04. Mr Ti2bs-They Don’t Know (Prod By Snap Man) [03:46]
05. Virus Syndicate-Neva Argue (Prod By M.R.K.1) [03:13]
06. Ghetto-Bam Bam (Prod By Lewi White) [03:48]
07. Skinny Man-Ballistic Affair (ft. Deadly Hunta) (Show N Prove Mix) [03:53]
08. Kashmere-Invisible (ft. Ghost & Verb-T) [03:33]
09. Supar Novar-Flip Tha Skript Anthem (ft. Big Ben) (Prod By Sir B) [04:03]
10. M9-Strange Fruit (F4DB Special) (Prod By Jon Phonics) [03:54]
11. Deadly Hunta-Valley Of Death (Prod By Kideight) [03:32]
12. First and Last-F.O.C.U.S (ft. Kyra UK) (Prod By OMeziah) [03:36]
13. Foreign Beggars-2nd Hand Contraband (ft. Aqueel) (Prod By Griffi) [03:36]
14. Shameless-Shame On You (Ft. Bruza) (Prod By Terror Danjah) [03:01]
15. Ghetto-Live InDa Booth [02:20]