Album: Tinchy Stryder, Third Strike (Island)
The cover shot, of tiny Tinchy's image expanded to the size of a tower block, surely reflects the rapper's ambition, which is substantial: "Me, I'm having meetings with the President," he claims unfeasibly in "Gangsta".
But the martial, rolling beats and grimy fuzz-synth grooves conceal few innovations: the usual boasts, the mandatory complaints about jealous haters, and the familiar amorous complications, the best of which is "In My System", where Tinchy likens his romantic reserve to a breached firewall. In places, he lets himself get overpowered by the more full-beam delivery of chorus divas like Melanie Fiona and Alexis Jordan, but there are hits enough here to compensate, notably his "Second Chance" with Taio Cruz. And as he's keen to remind his grime peers in "Remember", it was he who "kicked down the doors and let the rest enter".
DOWNLOAD THIS Second Chance; In My System; Never Know; Remember