Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Rebel MC 'Better World'

Chart Peak: 20


From what I recall as the first wave of British hip-hop, although it does seem a tiny bit late for that to be starting. I didn't think I remembered this song, but hearing it now it is actually quite familiar; so much so, in fact, that I think I must be remembering it from more recently than 1990. Knowing the way things tend to go in urban music, I was also expecting it to sound horribly dated after 19 years, but I was surprised again: to the sympathetic but inexpert ear at least, it's not that far away from the sort of thing that Chipmunk is doing, and he wasn't even born when this came out. The only possible exception is that electric piano sound, and even that looks like it might be making a comeback.

As the above implies, 'Better World' (his first hit without backing group/producers Double Trouble) leans towards the pop-oriented end of rap, even by 1990 standards. The Rebel's lyrics are a little on the platitudinous side, as he expresses hopes for a peaceful, just world and so on, but really who can blame him? This isn't a classic, but it's a pleasant listen. It does seem like a slightly minor hit to be placing so early in the running order, though; perhaps more was expected of it at the time of compilation.

Also appearing on: Now 15, 16 [both with Double Trouble]

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