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Plan B Who Needs Actions When You Got Words

He's white. He raps. And he talks dirty. No wonder Ben Drew (a.k.a. Plan B) is being sold as the British Eminem. The comparison isn't entirely off, but Drew's far from a clone. A grime MC, Drew has some of hip-hop's usual (and boring) obsession with bravado, violence, and penises (he calls listeners "fucking cunts" about 10 seconds in), but he's aware of his obsession. Sometimes that comes across as insightful, sometimes trite. Opener "Kidz" is cliché, painting dark images of youth and then lamenting, Oprah-like, "that's the mentality of kids today" (contrast that with the unapologetically violent Clipse, who sound much better for it). And "Charmaine," about a young girl, sounds forced. But lyrical flaws aside, his delivery is rhythmically absorbing, and the tracks themselves are well-crafted, with fresh beats and acoustic guitars playing off his own harshness for added complexity.

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