Album: Speech Debelle, Freedom of Speech (Big Dada)

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The Independent Culture

Speech Debelle was already being written off as a bad joke within hours of winning the Mercury Prize, filed alongside Gomez, Roni Size and Antony and the Johnsons as an example of the career-ending curse of that particular gong.

There's enough on the London rapper's second effort to show that she wasn't a one-album wonder, with smart, thoughtful lyrics about everything from iPods to the Arab Spring. No prizes for this one. No bad thing.