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Everybody Down review urgent hip-hop from acclaimed poet Kate Tempest

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(Big Dada)

Long before she won the Ted Hughes award for poetry last year, south Londoner Kate Tempest was a veteran of open-mic nights. She's returned to hip-hop for her debut album; uncluttered production is courtesy of the versatile Dan "Mr Dan" Carey (Bat for Lashes, Franz Ferdinand). An arts prize judging panel might call Everybody Down a song cycle, but really it's an urgent hip-hop record in which flawed but hopeful characters international relations graduates, lowlifes, lovers stumble into dramas. It's not unlike Plan B's Ill Manors, but with more female protagonists and more internal perspective. These are fictions, but they reflect raw truths in a way that draws you up short. "Them things you don't show, I can see/ Them things you don't say, speak to me," Tempest reckons. Her novel is due out later in 2014.

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