Review: British rapper Plan B shines on 3rd album

This CD cover image released by Atlantic Records shows "Ill Manors," the latest release by Plan B. (AP Photo/Atlantic Records)

Plan B, "ill Manors" (Atlantic Records)

On his third album, "ill Manors," Plan B is bold and blunt, telling it like it is with gritty lyrics that sound like beautiful poetry.

"There's no such thing as broken Britain, we're just broke in bloody Britain," he protests on the opening and title track.

The album serves as a soundtrack to the rapper's directorial debut of the same name, which was released this summer. The film depicts eight characters struggling to survive in Forest Gate, the East London neighborhood where Plan B was born and raised.

Each track is vivid, as Plan B raps about drugs, poverty and prostitution. The album was mainly produced by Al Shux, best known for producing Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind." Highlights on "ill Manors" include "Playing With Fire," ''Pity the Plight" and "Falling Down." Some of the lyrics will send chills, like on "Lost My Way," where Plan B raps: "That's why these kids ain't got no hope, walking round their estates thinking 'this is it,' they ain't ever getting out and it's no joke, probably is the best of life they're ever gonna get."

David Cameron, are you listening? We are.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "Playing With Fire" — a disturbing tale of little Jake's initiation into a gang — is full-on and intense, and a great story behind a broken Britain.


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