Riz MC - MICroscope
Although Rizwan Ahmed (a.k.a. Riz MC) is best known so far for his acting roles in the likes of Dead Set and Four Lions, MICroscope points to a promising parallel career as a Brit-rapper. The lyrics on this debut LP are fiercely intelligent, even if the beats ‘n’ bass by which they’re delivered will be too harsh for mainstream tastes. ‘Don’t Sleep’ uncompromisingly deals with a lads’ night out, one laced with snorting cocaine in the bogs and fighting, while ‘All in the Ghetto’ appears to be a grime update of ‘Common People’, the ghetto tourists questioning whether that’s "an art installation or a homeless man?" over a dubstep backing. The best two tracks, angry and impassioned, are saved for last: ‘Hundreds & Thousands’ is a twitchy-electro revenge fantasy on credit crunch causing bankers and features the memorable line "you take the piss, I’ll chop off your schlong"; ‘Sour Times’ is all the better for swapping the abrasiveness for some sawing violins and Scroobius Pip-style poetry. The topic? Suicide bombers, Islam and ‘the west’. Despite the arguments having been heard before, the words and delivery could easily silence a room.