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Ghetts: Conflict of Interest review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

(Warner Records)
Big-label backing and unusual, beautiful arrangements should finally propel Ghetts, long a critic’s favourite, into the big time

The third album by Ghetts is a marathon listen – digesting it in one sitting takes well over an hour – but barely three minutes pass before he mentions that it’s being released by Warner, the venerable major-label home of Madonna, Stevie Nicks and one of Conflict of Interest’s umpteen guest stars, Ed Sheeran. The question of whether UK hip-hop needs major labels to succeed is an intriguing one – a few tracks in, you hear Skepta, on particularly fierce form, proudly explaining how he told the established music industry to do one. But Ghetts flaunting his new deal is understandable. It comes, as he puts it, after “15 years’ hard work, no breaks”.

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