It's finally here. After miles of broadsheet coverage, tobacco's biggest poster boy drops his debut album through 679 Recordings. So is it any good? Yes. The rapping is developed and passionate, the production's strong and polished, whilst the lyrical content leaves lots of food for thought.
At times though, everything feels a little too contrived and forced, as if East London resident Ben Drew merely worked his way through a check list of taboo subjects that the PR people thought would get him attention. But, once you get over that hurdle and check out the songs as standalone efforts, free of the hype and marketing, there's not too much to fault.
Highlights include the RnB flavoured 'Charmaine' which suggests Plan B should focus a lot more on his singing vocals, which are impressive. 'No Good' has a really enjoyable beat and battle orientated bars of lyrics. The piano driven 'Everyday' builds a vivid atmosphere whilst 'Couldn't Get Along' provides the most sincere and genuine effort of the LP.
The title track closes the proceedings in an uplifting manner, which is much needed after so many tracks revolving around dark portrayals of life. A couple of more light-hearted numbers would have been good, but it could be argued that they'd have taken away from the whole 'angry' thing that Plan B's got going on.
Whether you choose to love or hate this, it's really positive for domestic rap music, which this will provide a lot more attention towards. For a first album, this is really confident, and it'll be extremely interesting to see what the artist comes up with next.