ok enough with da tension the mmmp nominations begin. here are the best 12 uk albums of the last 12 months or so. but i'm going to reveal them one by one! in alphabetical order! soz.

nominee number one. (that to have been read in portentous voice).

blade "storms are brewing" (691influential)

because if / when uk hip hop ever does take off, blade should be recognised as the one who made it possible, not least for getting on top of the pops and in the proper charts and still making that fantastic anti-industry video for "ya don't see the signs". few come across as more genuine either on record or in interviews: and "storms are brewing" features some typically honest reflections on his time being chewed up and spat out by the major labels: the title tune and "slapping egos" doing it best, with different tracks - backed with plenty of real instruments - mixing anger ("what have we done") and thoughtfulness ("i wonder"). mostly self-produced, it could be a little less restrained, a little less tidy: but the man's charm and openheartedness pull even the weaker backing tracks through. for completeness, also get the 12" of taster single "blow you out of the frame" (with excellent flip "you don't know him yet") and the 12" of "pop idol" (a weakish rant on the lp, it benefits hugely from a great million dead guitar makeover).