Tinchy Stryder: Catch 22 review

Label
Island
Release date
17th August 2009
Genre
Rap
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Goodbye grime, hello pop music.

The Catch 22 of mainstream fame is that your credibility goes in the opposite direction. Predictably the Ghanian born East London raised Tinchy Stryder (real name Kwasi Danquah) has been labelled a "sell-out" by those that have tracked him from the underground grime scene to pop success.

After struggling to make his name for years Catch 22’s best moments are commercial and uplifting pop tracks (Halo and Spotlight are every bit as addictively catchy as Number One and Take Me Back) - celebrations of finally making it.

Unlike Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, Tinchy fails in toggling the demands of auto-tune pop and reality grime. The songs where the album drags (Tryna Be Me and We Got Dem featuring Chipmunk) are when he returns to the sound of his debut album (Star In The Hood) and ditches the slick production of Fraser T Smith in favour of the no-nonsense style of Dirty Danger and some awkward rapping about the pressures of fame and wealth that includes the line "I’ve got money coming out of my anus.".

If Catch 22 is a Jeckyl & Hyde war then pop defeats grime everytime.

More to try:
Kano: London Town
Chipmunk: League Of My Own
Kanye West: Graduation
Wiley: See Clear Now

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