Katy B had many of us bottle-popping and hip-shaking along to her wavy, 90s-style house and garage when she dropped her Mercury-nominated debut album, On a Mission, in 2011. The making of her last album, Little Red, was an ordeal in and of itself, judging by comments at the time. By comparison, her latest album is a tantalising gift to her dance music following.
UK hip hop has been getting international attention in the last five years thanks to the popularity of grime. Dizzee, Wiley and Tinie Tempah have played their part, while Krept and Konan and Skepta have the backing of major US rappers. But it’s Roots Manuva – one of the godfathers of UK hip hop, up there with Tricky, Neneh Cherry and Rodney P (London Posse) – who continues to display a tenacity and creativity that younger hip hop artists could learn from.