Tinie Tempah Talks Us Through His Favourite Ever Albums
Can you guess what they are?
Music can change your life. Listen to the right album, at the right time, and it could make your life better.
You could happen across an album that inspires you, that makes you laugh or provides the soundtrack to the exact moment your heart breaks.
Or it could provide the soundtrack to that time you stole pic 'n' mix from Woolworths (we've all done it) and security chased you through Watford high street, just because your iPod shuffled onto it by chance. It's different for each person.
A great album can be the perfect companion, so much so that, when you listen to that album again after many years, the sounds transport you back to a different time, when you had different friends and were a different person. Great albums can stick with you for a long time.
We decided to start interviewing some of our favourite artists about the albums that have inspired or influenced them. It could be a fun way to learn more about someone, right?
We spoke to Kent Jones about special albums last month. And now we’ve spoken to Tinie Tempah.
Check out the video above for more, or if you prefer your information to be written down, please allow your eyeballs to drift down this page.
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
Widely considered as Eminem’s best album, 2000’s The Marshall Mathers LP saw Eminem in a middle-finger waving mood as he took shots at the popular acts of the time and his family members.
Eminem also had some choice words for his critics. In fact, in an article with Spin, Eminem said that he almost called the album Amsterdam “not only because it’s the Ecstasy producing capital of the world, but also because the questions he was asked by Dutch journalists irked him so much that he wrote four songs about them on the plane ride home.”
If you haven’t listened to The Marshall Mathers LP before, you’ll definitely be familiar with “MY NAME IS” from its lead single, ‘The Real Slim Shady’, which went on to top the UK Singles Chart.
Eminem’s third album has sold over 10 million copies in the US alone and won in the Best Album category at 2000’s MTV EMAs. The Marshall Mathers LP did ‘quite well’, you might say. It’s widely considered as one of the best rap albums of all time and it influenced a certain Patrick Okogwu – better known as Tinie Tempah.
“The cover, the black and white one, that changed my life,” Tinie told us. ““I am whatever you say I am" (from ‘The Way I Am’), and all the skits with Kim. That definitely changed my life.”
So Solid Crew – They Don’t Know
They Don’t Know was released in 2001 following a trainload of hype and controversy.
So Solid Crew’s debut album followed years of hard work which saw the collective enjoy a huge surge in popularity, claim a number one in the UK Singles Chart with ’21 Seconds’, win a MOBO Award for Best British Act and also a Brit Award for Best Video.
But, unfortunately, their UK tour in 2001 was cancelled after two men were shot at one of the group’s gigs in London.
“They Don’t Know changed my life as well,” said Tinie. “The sonics, even today, still sound so British and distinctive. The visuals…I still say today that no one – no one – is doing videos as good as So Solid Crew when they were at their height doing their videos.”
“What they were showing us…every video was like a movie! The movement, the Audi TTs…it was epic. Epic.”
Dizzee Rascal – Showtime
Following the massive success of Dizzee Rascal’s 2003 debut, Boy in da Corner (which Dizzee recently performed in its entirety in October this year), the Londoner returned with Showtime in 2004.
Dealing with the pressures of his newfound fame, Dizzee’s second album often dealt with, as Pitchfork put it, his “fishbowl life as he negotiates both the expectations of those who hope he swims and the sharpened knives of those who wish he sinks.”
“Showtime is a pivotal album [for me],” Tine said. “Showtime came out at the time when I started to become an MC myself. So it was me seeing an artist who I really looked up to and thinking “wow, he’s making this this to get to where he’s getting. It’s like a blueprint in a way.”
We also caught up with MTV-favourite Tinie Tempah to talk about his new album Youth and how to become a rapper in a separate video interview, which you can watch here.
Tinie Tempah has teamed up with Barclays for the LifeSkills ‘work experience of a lifetime’ campaign – giving ambitious young people the chance to break into dream careers in sports and entertainment. Click here for more.