On the download: Plan B

PLAN B

Who Needs Actions When You Got Words

(Cordless Recordings)

"It’s disgraceful like getting caught pissing in the sink," new British rap talent to watch Plan B spits during one of the many raw, attention-grabbing moments on his stateside debut, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words. Born Ben Drew, Plan B is the angry, guitar-strumming, Cockney-accented East End, London, rapper whose thought-provoking, hardcore lyrics are exactly what hip-hop needs. Born in Forest Gate, East London, 24 years ago, Plan B was raised single-handedly by his mother after his father abandoned them both. The ensuing hardship of growing up is repeatedly funneled into Plan B’s lyrics, including "I Don’t Hate You," directed at his deadbeat dad. Meanwhile his mom’s ex-boyfriend fares even worse in such songs as "Sick 2 Def," in which Plan B fantasizes about finding him "floating in the bathtub with his wrists slit." The rapper further lashes out at the loser sponge of a motherfucker — literally — in "Mama (Loves a Crackhead)." Plan B’s passionate outspokenness against drug addiction recurs in "Missing Links," in which he sadly writes off the countless "best friends" he has lost to "brown smoke and white lines." Musically, Who Needs Actions covers a lot of ground, including its fair share of poppy R&B production values. Plan B is at his most convincing when he simply, bleakly delivers his angry rhymes over hip-hop beats or a raw acoustic guitar. But it’s all good. (Billy Jam)