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Roots Manuva

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Biography

British rapper/producer Rodney Smith established himself as Roots Manuva in the late '90s and began releasing a series of highly regarded albums through Big Dada. Smith's work was firmly rooted in dub and ragga but also incorporated much of the trip-hop style often associated with Ninja Tune, the U.K. imprint that often distributed Big Dada releases. The MC debuted in 1999 with Brand New Second Hand, a promising album that garnered a sizable amount of attention from the international hip-hop crowd and won Britain's coveted MOBO award. Beginning in late 1999, shortly after the album was released, Smith returned to the studio to begin work on Run Come Save Me, his follow-up. He completed the album and released it on Big Dada in 2001; thanks to his own production on the breakout single "Witness (I Hope)," the album became a British hit and increased his worldwide recognition. It narrowly missed winning the prestigious Mercury Prize and spawned an excellent dub album, Dub Come Save Me, released one year later. His third album, the introverted and somewhat constricted Awfully Deep, appeared in 2005 and peaked within the Top 30 of the U.K. album chart. The following year's Alternately Deep, featuring remixes and original tracks recorded around the same time as those of its predecessor, was a looser affair. It hinted at the prospect of material with lighter subject matter, but Slime & Reason, released in 2008, was yet another set based on inward-looking, occasionally grim, content. Wrongtom, who produced versions of seven of the album's cuts for the sake of a two-disc edition, was eventually allowed to do the same with tracks from the entirety of Roots Manuva's catalog. The result of this experiment, Duppy Writer, was issued in 2010. 4everevolution, released the following year, was the most diverse Roots Manuva full-length and included appearances from Skunk Anansie's Skin and Cass Lewis. A few singles and EPs appeared in 2012 and 2013, including collaborations with Jamie Cullum, Ill Audio, and Hiem. Smith began working on a new Roots Manuva full-length for release in 2015, with a double A-side single, "Facety 2:11"/"Like a Drum," featuring production by Four Tet and Machinedrum. Preceded by further singles "One Thing" and "Don't Breathe Out," Bleeds (which also featured production by Adrian Sherwood) appeared in late October 2015. ~ Jason Birchmeier & Andy Kellman
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Seat Yourself
  3.   Witness (1 Hope)
  4.   Watch Me Dance by Toddla T
  5.   This World Is Mine
  6.   Worl' a Mine by Wrongtom
  7.   Motion 5000
  8.   Who Goes There?
  9.   Nobody's Dancing
  10.   Colossal Insight
  11.   Skid Valley by Skunk Anansie
  12.   Body Hot
  13.   Fever
  14.   Witness (One Hope)
  15.   Well Alright
  16.   Move Ya Loin
  17.   Mean Street
  18.   One Thing
  19.   Takes Time To
  20.   Knee-Jerk
  21.   First Growth
  22.   Hard Bastards
  23.   The In the Throes of It
  24.   Feel da Panic
  25.   Fighting For?
  26.   I Know Your Face
  27.   Stepping Hard
  28.   Don't Breathe Out
  29.   Crying
  30.   Facety 2:11
  31.   Like A Drum
  32.   Stolen Youth
  33.   Party Time
  34.   Banana Skank Part 2
  35.   Natural
  36.   The Show Must Go On
  37.   A Man's Talk
  38.   Wha' Mek
  39.   The Path
  40.   Noddy
  41.   Much Too Plush
  42.   Here We Go Again
  43.   Get the Get
  44.   Banana Skank
  45.   Son of Bodda by Wrongtom
  46.   Rebuff by Wrongtom
  47.   Jah Warriors by Wrongtom
  48.   Dutty Rut featuring Ricky Ranking
  49.   Duppy Writer (Skit) by Wrongtom
  50.   Dub Decay (Skit) by Wrongtom
  51.   Chin Up by Wrongtom
  52.   Butterfly Crab Walk featuring Da Riddlah
  53.   Big Tings Redone featuring Seanie T
  54.   Kick Up Ya Foot
  55.   Let The Spirit
  56.   Do Nah Bodda Mi
  57.   C.R.U.F.F.
  58.   Get U High
  59.   Check It
  60.   Things We Do
  61.   Double Drat
  62.   Toothbrush
  63.   The Falling
  64.   Thinking
  65.   Pause 4 Cause
  66.   Babylon Medicine
  67.   Chin High
  68.   Rebel Heart
  69.   Too Cold
  70.   Cause 4 Pause
  71.   Awfully Deep
  72.   Mind 2 Motion
  73.   A Haunting
  74.   Witness Dub
  75.   UK Warriors
  76.   Brand New Dub
  77.   The Lynch
  78.   Dreamy Days SFA Dub
  79.   Tears
  80.   Highest Grade Dub
  81.   Man Fi Cool
  82.   Dreamy Days
  83.   Highest Grade
  84.   Evil Rabbit
  85.   Sinny Sin Sins
  86.   Stone the Crows
  87.   Hol' It Up
  88.   Artical
  89.   Trim Body
  90.   Dub Styles
  91.   Kicking The Cack
  92.   Ital Visions
  93.   Black Box Interlude
  94.   Join the Dots
  95.   Bashment Boogie
  96.   No Strings
  97.   Big Things a Gwaan
  98.   Organ Skit
  99.   Strange Behaviour
  100.   Soul Decay
  101.   Inna
  102.   Juggle Tings Proper
  103.   Dem Phonies
  104.   Clockwork
  105.   Cornmeal Dumpling
  106.   It's On
  107.   Buff Nuff
  108.   Styles Dub
  109.   Pep My Game
  110.   Wisdom Fall
  111.   Next Type of Motion
  112.   Baptism
  113.   Oh Yeah...
  114.   It's Me Oh Lord
  115.   2 Much 2 Soon
  116.   Iron Shirt
  117.   Beyond This World
  118.   Witness (One Hope)
  119.   Sinking Sands
  120.   Grown Man
  121.   The Struggle
  122.   Roots-Fi Discotek Skit
  123.   Revolution 5
  124.   Go Champ
  125.   Do 4 Self
  126.   Me Up!
  127.   No Love
  128.   Movements
  129.   Watch
  130.   Swords in the Dirt
  131.   Revelation
  132.   I'm a New Man
  133.   Cargo
  134.   On A High
  135.   Again & Again
  136.   Crow Bars
  137.   Motion 82 by Wrongtom
  138.   Proper Tings Juggled by Wrongtom
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