Ghetts: On Purpose, With Purpose review – brimming with elegant fury

Remarkably, rappers who were teens when grime went national are now turning 40. After half a lifetime at the mic, Ghetts is one of the few rap veterans who can still be considered on the up. He’s never had a crossover radio hit yet was a popular winner of this year’s Mobo Pioneer award, as “a true inspiration and icon” to UK black music. And last album Conflict of Interest was his most successful project yet, scooping a 2021 Mercury nomination after reaching No 2 in the charts.

In a world where André 3000 questions the point of old MCs, Ghetts’s On Purpose, With Purpose repeatedly makes the case for his own relevance in typically thoughtful, impassioned style. Sampha-assisted Double Standards is a fabulous showcase for his elegant fury, covering hypocrisy, colourism, paedophilia and prejudice with courage and wisdom. Mount Rushmore (featuring fellow heads Kano and Wretch 32) has the best beat-and-flow marriage, but there’s also solid work on Afrobeats and amapiano tracks such as Tumbi, Blessings and Hallelujah. This is a well-crafted collection that could maybe do with a couple more heaters, but will keep the wider audience he picked up with Conflict of Interest happy.


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