Various Artists
Run the Road 2

By Masta G

The first instalment of Run the Road last year brought the urgent, abrasive sound of grime to the attention of the world, with many of those featured, like Roll Deep and Kano, going on to achieve chart recognition. While its lo-fi aesthetic is not to everyone’s taste, this new compilation proves that grime has an energy which is impossible to ignore.

Opener Get Set features an orchestral sweep of synths and strings, with pin-up and major label signing Kano inspirationally announcing ‘It’s your time’. On Serious, JME decries the culture of parochialism and posturing which is one of the reasons grime has yet to make the mainstream impact it deserves. Hip hop artists Plan B and Klashnekoff provide a welcome change of tempo. Female MCs, who might be the key to overground success, are well represented by the breakneck chatting of No Lay and media darling Lady Sovereign. There is also alcohol fuelled comedy from newcomer Bear Man on Drink Reer and gentle surrealism from Roll Deep’s Trim on a Mike Skinner production, demonstrating a variety which bodes well for the future of the UK’s most prolific and progressive music culture.
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