• Albums,  Reviews

    Plan B, ‘Ill Manors’

    Plan B - Ill ManorsRecently released U.K. film Ill Manors is an orgy of heroin shooting galleries, illegal immigrant women enslaved by Russian mobsters, a young bwoy doing his first murders, a cracked-out prostitute pimped for a cell phone, and an infant baby sold for cash and, in a climactic scene, thrown out an apartment window. What caused all this madness? These lost souls are products of broken homes and refugees of foster care. What they need, apparently, are responsible mummies and daddies.

    Rapper/producer Ben Drew not only directed and wrote the screenplay for this East London council estate drama, but recorded its soundtrack under his alias, Plan B. Despite achieving two No. 1 albums in his native Britain (including this one), he hasn’t inspired the sort of American cult following that Mike “the Streets” Skinner engendered with his 2002 debut, Original Pirate Material. Skinner was as much a satirist as social commentator, evinced by the idle-youth anthem “Geezers Need Excitement”; by comparison, Plan B is deadly serious. On “Sick 2 Def” from the 2006 grime compilation Run the Road II, he banged on an acoustic guitar while angrily rhyming that he’s “Had it up to here, had it up to here / I’m hafta do it Reservoir Dog-style, slice off their ear.” For his second album, 2010’s The Defamation of Strickland Banks, he adopted a soul-boy persona, singing in a light, wavering croon about an obsessed fan who falsely accuses him of rape after a one-night stand.