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Speech Debelle (1983, London, England) is a British rap artist, winner of the 2009 Mercury Prize. Debelle is signed to the Big Dada record label.Read More...
Debelle's debut album, Speech Therapy, was released in the United Kingdom on 31 May 2009. The album has had three singles released, "Searching", "The Key", and "Go Then, Bye". It won the Barclay Mercury music prize in 2009. The Mercury judges said she was a "remarkable new voice in British hip-hop, tough, warm and reflective". One judge, the broadcaster and conductor Charles Hazlewood added: "She's just quietly telling her stories in the most beguiling way."
Speech began writing poetry aged nine and started rapping lyrics in the schoolyard aged 13. Back then, initial inspiration came courtesy of Michael Jackson, which quickly turned to Blackstreet, Mary J Blige, TLC and reggae.
The first thing about Speech Debelle that strikes the ear is a contrast. Her voice is warm, youthful and listenable, and if you heard her in the background you might assume that her lyrics were the same. You’d be better placed tuning into them. In common with her new label-mate Roots Manuva, she’s astoundingly honest in her music, detailing and exorcising some very personal demons. That isn’t to say she’s another run of the mill rapper with more complaints than insights. Quite the opposite. Like all musicians worth listening to, she draws you into her universe and makes you glad you visited. There’s always a thaw to the chillier moments.
‘Searching’ is her debut single, and a perfect example of the offbeat, folky production that will litter the forthcoming album, as well as the whisper-in-the-ear quality of her vocals. One thing is certain, hip-hop has never been done in quite this way before. ‘Searching’ makes you wonder why not.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- The Key - 77,653 plays
- LyricsThis is for the tat on my wrist this is for the black of my fist
This is for the s in my lisp this is for my beating heart in my chest on the life yes
Life aint for the swift but for those who can endure it so i hold it with two hands im moorish
And I answer every time it is calling and you can see it in my aura
You can tell Im a soldier you can see the strength in my eyes and I hope
- Lyrics2 am in my hostel bed, my eyes them red, my belly aint fed,
I got butter but I aint got bread and I m smoking on my last cigarette.
I aint got creds I can t make calls, got no papers I got no jewels.
Got debts up to my eyeballs who made these rules, it s a catch 22.
Christmas soon come and I got no funds but what s Christmas if you aint at mums.
- LyricsYour tender touch is a must you got me paralysed
All I can do is curve my back and close my eyes
If our love had a soundtrack it be made from sighs
Produce written and arrange on a sweet vibe
Complete my sentence like a set of twins our love evoke a message like the new testament
- LyricsDaddy I think I love you cause I hate you so much that I must love you
I put mommy above you
cause she played her position and loved me
unconditionally like you never have
I wasnt that bad I wasnt no Damien child the
- Go Then, Bye - 36,319 plays
- Bad Boy - 27,162 plays
- Live & Learn - 26,561 plays
- Speech Therapy - 26,067 plays
- Working Weak - 23,514 plays