First Thoughts: Manga Saint Hilare – Outsiders Live Forever

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East London based grime MC; Manga St Hilaire burst on to the scene with Wiley and Scratchy’s Roll Deep movement, which formed in 2002. Having been part of Roll Deep for over 10 years, Manga has grown a steady well- respected reputation as a grime MC setting himself apart from his peers with not just his context but also his distinctive voice, clever word play, and poetic flow.

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Manga teased listeners leading up to his album release with the lethal rhythm ‘Forever’. The production is immediately recognisable as Wiley’s, as those inflating quick string melodies throughout are reminiscent of Wiley’s eskimo instrumentals, which seem to influence the beats in ‘Forever’ allowing for Manga’s lyrics to take center stage.

Video courtesy of SBTV

Having spent so long in the scene and with a big discography to back him, its difficult to understand why he hasn’t received the levels of attention as some of his peers around. Nevertheless, he continues to portray his truth as he has displayed with this current project; ‘Outsider Live Forever’. Providing the soundscape throughout the album is South West London based producer ‘Sir Hiss’, and in spite being 20 years old, his range of sampled beats and blend of more complex melodies to heavy bass kicks, like with the track ‘Lyrical Thuggery’ is impressive.

Video courtesy of 1Xtra

Those heavy quick tempo beats provide the perfect setting for stand out track ‘True To Me’ featuring Boy Better Know (BBK) members; JME and Frisco. Who all seem to reflect on their journey and rise in the grime scene in their natural flow and style, whilst being able to stay true to themselves. The message throughout the track also acts as a positive message to any emerging artists to be patient and persistent with there craft.
Manga’s poetic style throughout the album seems to reflect his personal introspective view of his journey, and he brilliant sets himself apart from grime MCs with his adaptability to speak on more personal topics.

Listen to Outsiders live Forever via bandcamp and support the artist

Author: Kofi Yeboah

I'm a Music & Culture Journalist, and DJ from London. I worked in radio, events promotions, and content production. .

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