Roots Manuva
Brand New Second Hand

Big Dada

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A TAV Curator's Pick: The album that broke ground for UK hip-hop.

Brand New Second Hand is the first studio album by English hip hop musician Roots Manuva, originally released on Big Dada in 1999.

In 2014, Oscar Rickett of Vice said: "It's hard to believe it's been 15 years since this album was made. It's easier to believe that nothing as good as it has ever come out of the UK hip-hop scene."

“The British artists that could have made hip-hop albums mostly gravitated towards garage, grime, or trip-hop. Perhaps that’s because those scenes were closer to the reggae and dub scenes that preceded them. Either way, there’s one significant exception to the “UK hip-hop sucks enormous balls” rule. That exception comes in the form of an album made fifteen years ago, by a guy from south-west London called Rodney. The album is Roots Manuva’s Brand New Second Hand and it’s so much better than any other UK hip-hop album, it’s almost a joke.

While it’s unequivocably a hip-hop album, Brand New Second Hand is shot through with ragga and dub. It’s sparse and bass heavy and Rodney’s Stockwell flow, inflected with Jamaican patois, gives the whole record a dancehall feel that separates it from the UK heads ripping off Dre (if they wanted to be gangsta), or DJ Premier (if they wanted to be conscious). ...

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since this album was made. It’s easier to believe that nothing as good as it has ever come out of the UK hip-hop scene. Grime took over and that’s no bad thing, but Brand New Second Hand needs to be heard again. It’s an album that draws you into its world. There’s brooding, almost mythical feeling that runs through Roots Manuva’s meditations on poverty, urban life, racism, and crime. It’s very English: Indian corner shops, piggy banks, kissed teeth, travel cards, cries of “great scot” and “I say,” two-bit gangsters and Rodney’s “jet black flow from the south-west of L-O-N-D-O-N” means it never gets close to sounding like a D-list Tupac knock-off. He may not have got near it since, and the scene it came out of may be dead in the water, but for making Brand New Second Hand, Roots Manuva needs to be honored for his services to British music.”  - Vice

Item description:


Roots Manuva


Brand New Second Hand


Big Dada 


2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue



Release Date:

This reissue: 2013 | Original - 1999


Hip Hop, Electronica


Conscious, UK Hip-Hop

Catalog No: