Rodney Hylton Smith is better known by his Stage name Roots Manuva, he was born in 1972 and is from Stockwell, South London. His parents are from Jamaica and were from a small village called Banana Hole, his farther was a preacher and a tailor. Smith spent most of his early years in poverty and has a strict Pentecostal upbringing which has influenced his music in tracks such as 'Sinny Sin Sins' and 'Colossal Insight'.
Roots Manuva recorded debut in 1994 which was a part of IQ Procedure through a short lived hip hop imprint known as Bluntly Speaking Vinyl. Also in 1994 Roots featured on Black Twang's single titled 'Queens Head'before releasing his own single 'Next Type Of Mothing' through the same label.
In 1999 Roots released his earth shattering debut album titled 'Brand New Second Hand', which is in reference to his familys modest lifestyle, it was a phrase his mother used for presents he used to get as a Child which were pre-owned.
Roots Manuva had a huge impact on the UK rap scene so much that The Times stated: "his is the voice of urban Britain, encompassing dub, ragga, funk and hip hop as it sweeps from crumbling street corners to ganja-filled dance halls, setting gritty narratives against all manner of warped beats"
Due to the up-roar and buzz Roots created he was rewarded with a MOBO as best hip hop act that year. His style and lyrics have a distinctively British edge, with many critics referencing Eating Cheese on toast and drinking bitter from his track 'Witness the fitness'. Roots Manuva has gone on to work with many artists such as Chali 2na (and Ozomatli), DJ Shadow, Mr Scruff, U.N.K.L.E., Nightmares on Wax, The Cinematic Orchestra, Beth Orton, The Herbaliser, Leftfield, Saian Supa Crew and Coldcut.
Roots also made an appearance on a Gorillaz Album titled 'Demon Days', he featured on the track 'All Alone'.