Review of Taddla T's album Skanky Skanky
Self awareness and a wicked sense of humour are the best when they are combined together, so on the chorus to 'Road Trip' when Toddla T has the gall to rap 'I play tunes for people, people pretend to like it,' it may seem like we're onto a winner already.
He's obviously a precocious talent which has seen him managing his own Sheffield-based studio at just 19 years old. Skanky Skanky has a list of collaborators as long as your arm clamouring to contribute, from regular partner in crime Mr Versatile, to the surprising (poet Benjamin Zephaniah) to the legendary (Roots Manuva). But forget the saying about too many cooks, Skanky skanky is an inventive, fun, spoiled brat of a record.
Being a live DJ it's no surprise that Toddla T has made the album like one big long mash-up of his favourites: grime, dancehall, electronica and reggae - with the special guests holding down the fort. But there's no danger of Mr T's personality getting lost in the crowd, it's big, witty and brash, slapping you right in the face from opening track "Boom DJ" and beyond. 'Sound Tape Killing' is an aural assault, with such a big beat behind it that it blows anything the Streets have done out of the water. Current single 'Shake It', as you'd suspect, is made for the dance floor. In all honesty most tracks on the album would be good as singles, making it well paced and varied enough to keep even the most clueless listener interested (including myself). Toddla's sound is so big and dumb it'd be easy to disregard his wit but don't let this fool you, Skanky Skanky's sharp intelligence lurks just beneath the surface.
Let's really hope Toddla T never grows up.