Tinchy Stryder Star In The Hood Review

Released 2007.  

BBC Review

The latest homegrown Grime talent. He's a soldier on a mission!

Maxine Headley 2007

In the same way that hip hop’s current state of health has been recently questioned, the debate of whether or not Grime has a future is generating many heated discussions. Prominent icons are seemingly moving away from the genre – Kano’s doing the hip hop thing, Dizzie Rascal’s collaborating with the MySpace successes, Lily Allen and Arctic Monkey’s, to sustain mainstream interest, and the ‘Godfather of Grime’, Wiley, is retiring - the need for a new ally to march the movement forward is essential.

Step up Tinchy Styder, who after several mix tapes finally releases his debut album, Star In The Hood, in an attempt to see if grime really does pay. And you know what, it just might. Yes, fans that have known Tinch from the beginning will hear him tone down his fiery musical ‘tantrums’ on some of the tracks, in order to obtain mass appeal. Looking no further than the DaVinChe produced single “Something About Your Smile”, its catchy hook and upbeat tempo has all the signs of a successful pop song.

Really, there isn’t anything wrong with that, Tinch hasn’t totally deserted those who have made him a ‘household name’ in fact much of the lyrical content is still grimy, notably on “Not Like Me” where he declares his originality as an artist, as with the title track “Star In The Hood” claiming, well, the same thing. However the effort in ‘keeping it real’ on “Catch ‘Em” doesn’t help dispel the current issues of how inner city youths get caught up in unnecessary life threatening altercations.

Lucky, the inclusion of female vocals creates diversity on the album; “Hands Of Time” with its reggae undertones and sentimental message show a softer side to Tinch, while “Stereotypes” featuring and produced by Goldielocks, commands you not to assume ‘we’re some wasted kids, who aint got a clue about the music biz’.

A Grime album wouldn’t be a Grime album without a boisterous MC talking about his takeover of the world. Soldier on a mission, we salute you!

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