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Roots Manuva
Run Come Save Me

Big Dada

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A TAV Essential Listening Album.

Run Come Save Me is the second studio album by English hip hop musician Roots Manuva.

It was released on Big Dada in 2001. Alex Needham of NME called it "Brit-rap's finest hour to date." Q listed it as one of the best 50 albums of 2001. - Wiki

“But it is perhaps this stunning second album from Stockwell born and bred producer come mic destroyer Roots Manuva that has raised the bar for good. Now, with the release of Run Come Save Me everyone has to jump higher... a lot higher.

Primarily this album should be lauded for its degree of musical invention and individual approach to the genre. Rodney has produced three quarters of the album himself and there are elements here that have subsequently reappeared in the world of R&B. On hearing the stuttering, organic funk of that huge, electronic bass line and the relentless, loping rhymes on "Witness (One Hope)"we are reminded of the production on Brandy's "What About" masterminded by the genius of Rodney 'Darkchild' Jerkins. There is a playful, anarchic disregard for time signatures as things slip across the bars and are then suddenly pulled back again. Roots is not afraid to experiment and the results are refreshing and unpredictable.

Not only is he technically adept Roots is also a fearless writer. Gnashing over minimal keys he confesses on "Stone The Crows" " you can tell I'm from a basic stock, shouldn't take these drugs, shouldn't get so p*ssed".

The raw melancholy of "Sinny Sin Sins" finds Roots refuting the strict religious upbringing imposed by his deacon father. "I used to steal collection, I used catch a beating... As long as your living under my roof your gonna heed to my interpretation of the truth... to this day I fight down their spell". Yet, pathos aside, there is a ready wit that is never far from the surface. By way of example, his ode to the 'erb "Highest Grade" lifts the hook from Craig David's "Seven Days" to illustrate the sale and daily intake of Stockwell's jolly, green clients.

He is intelligent, humble but most of all conscious. On "Witness" he raps, "I sit here contented with this cheese on toast, I feel the pain of a third world famine". Somehow it's hard to imagine any MC from the West Side issuing forth a lactose truth like this but that's Rodney -strictly UK.

Although his debut Brand New Second Hand was an underground success it fell short of the landmark release that UK hip hop had been missing for the last ten years. With the completion of album number two, we have here a record that will be artistically and commercially recognised without pandering to the sounds and attitudes of Stateside hip hop.In making this truly individual record Roots Manuva has well and truly done the business.”  - BBC

“Just when the British hip-hop community seemed on its last legs, the victim of an over-powerful American marketing machine, Roots Manuva hit the stratosphere with his second record, the nearly Mercury prize-winning Run Come Save Me. A stunning record, it balanced the stark digital soul of British ragga with lurching beats, and Rodney Smith's star-making delivery and wide-ranging repertoire. "Witness (1 Hope)" earned its place as the best British rap single since Tricky's "Aftermath," while "Bashment Boogie," "Hol' It Up," and "Artical" were distinctive, hard-hitting, surprisingly groovy performances. - AllMusic


About Roots Manuva:

Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva is one of the titans of Black British music.

Smith made his recorded debut in 1994 as part of IQ Procedure through Suburban Base's short-lived hip hop imprint Bluntly Speaking Vinyl. He debuted as Roots Manuva the same year on Blak Twang's 'Queen's Head' single, before releasing his own single, 'Next Type of Motion' the following year through the same label, the hugely influential Sound of Money. 1996 saw the release of his collaborations with Skitz ('Where My Mind Is At'/'Blessed Be the Manner') on 23 Skidoo's Ronin label. The release of 'Feva' on Tony Vegas's Wayward imprint followed in 1997. This was also the year that saw the first releases from Big Dada. In 1998 he joined the label and the following year released his fiercesome debut, 'Brand New Second Hand'. From an initial 3000 records put into the shops 'BNSH' has now sold over 50,000 copies in the UK. It also made the first dents in the wall of complacency and indifference which has often greeted home-grown Black music in this country. Manuva was rewarded for his breakthrough with a MOBO as Best Hip Hop Act that year. As if to demonstrate the broad appeal of his style, he also featured on Leftfield's 'Dusted' from their 'Rhythm & Stealth' album.

Big things were now expected of Smith and he delivered with 2001's 'Run Come Save Me', the record which gained him a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize and which has currently sold well over 100,000 copies in the UK. More importantly, it spawned the all-time classic 'Witness' (voted the greatest UK hip hop tune of all time by the readers of Hip Hop Connection) on an album that ran from the broad, swaggering pop of 'Dreamy Days' to the dark, odd meditation of 'Evil Rabbit'. It is also the record which led the Guardian newspaper, in October 2003, to proclaim Manuva fifth in their '40 Best Bands In Britain' feature, proclaiming that "his influence is incalculable and he opened the doors for the Streets, Dizzee Rascal et al."

Smith followed up that album with "Slime & Reason" in 2008 and "4everevolution" in 2011. Both records were acclaimed by critics and fans alike. In addition, 2010 saw the release of "Duppy Writer," Alongside these releases, he contributed to the first Gorillaz record, started up his label-come-gang, Banana Klan, and guested on countless records for other artists.

Between times, he toured festivals the world over (on one memorable night being joined onstage by Usain Bolt) and developed an occasional sideline as a “DJ/selecta.” In addition, for a number of years, Banana Klan and its artists took up an increasing amount of Smith’s time, as did curating and promoting a series of “Dub College” events that featured everyone from Micachu and The Bug to Dawn Penn. As ever, Smith was less interested in genre than in pushing “bass culture” in new and interesting directions. He has also collaborated and guested with a long list of artists over the years not only Gorillaz, but a diverse selection of artists including Jamie Cullum, The Maccabees, Toddla T, The Bug, The Cinematic Orchestra, Leftfield and Mr Scruff and many others. The records continued to come. 2010 saw the download-only release of “Snakebite” (complete with an excellent video, shot on the same Kent beaches as the album cover to Run Come Save Me), new remixes and collaborations for Ninja Tune’s twentieth anniversary XX compilation and the release of Duppy Writer, a reggae reinterpretation of his back catalogue by Wrong Tom featuring the blazer “Jah Warriors”.

Having had music featured in the very first series of Skins back in 2007, when Rodney was asked to compose a track for the very last series, he jumped at the chance. With a brief that covered everything from tempo and feel to hints at lyrical content, Manuva cooked up “Stolen Youth” - a classic Roots Manuva moment built on mournful strings, heartbeat drum programming and the kind of lyrical flights that made his name, all delivered in that trademark chocolate-growl.

After a wondrous performance at the BBC’s Maida Vale with fellow sonic adventurers The Invisible, the last two years have seen Rodney back in his laboratory, brewing up the ingredients for his next brand new album. The first results of his latest experiments were astonishing. An initial double A-side single, Facety 2:11 / Like a Drum saw Smith recruit two of electronic music’s most brilliant talents, Four Tet and Machinedrum. Summer 2015 was spent appearing at a series of fesitvals, including supporting Blur at Hyde Park, while putting the finishing touches on his new record, ‘Bleeds.’

His sixth studio album, ‘Bleeds’ is his most concise and focussed record, his most emotionally affecting and powerful release since his breakthrough, ‘Run Come Save Me.’ Drawing upon production assistance from young British producer, Fred, together with musical heavyweights Four Tet,  Adrian Sherwood and Switch’s new production team, With You, the title of the record is, in the man’s words, an “egocentric jest of daring to do things in the tradition of Jesus: I’m ready to bleed for the artform.” It is, of course, also a reference to the way in which genres, in the sonic world of Roots Manuva, have a tendency to bleed into one another, so that hip hop, reggae, techno, funk, neo-classical, all blend together to create “liquid soul, the blood, the bleeds that paint infinite sacred wonders in our dreams and unfold in our day-to-day.”

One of the true pioneers and originals of British music, any album from Roots Manuva is an event. When it’s as good as ‘Bleeds’ it’s one of the musical events of the year. Both genre-defying and deeply rooted in what he describes as “the culture of Bass and Verb,” the record innovates and consolidates in equal measure. Rodney Smith describes himself as “a British Black musical Mark Rothko” and ‘Bleeds’ is another masterpiece from this abstract wordsmith. – Big Dada

Item description:


Roots Manuva


Run Come Save Me


Big Dada


2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress, Gatefold



Release Date:

This reissue: 2011 | Original - 2001


Hip Hop, Electronica


Experimental, UK Hip Hop

Catalog No: