NEW FLESH Understanding (Big Dada/Outside) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Confirmation that Roots Manuva's breakout smash, Run Come Save Me, wasn't a fluke, New Flesh puts the British hiphop underground in the spotlight, finally on par with progressive scenes in New York and Toronto. A trio driven by producer Part 2, New Flesh's mix of unusual rhymes and unsettling beats covers the entire spectrum of the black British underground, lurching from basement hiphop to twitchy dancehall, UK garage and prickly soul. Roots Manuva checks in with a typically scattered rhyme and is joined by Blackalicious, Anti-Pop Consortium and Beat Bop legend Ramm:ell:zee, who returns from the dead for two garbled cuts. Further proof that Birmingham, not Brooklyn, might be the scene of the next hiphop explosion.