Believe it. Most of Awfully Deep stands as some of the wickedest, big-banging, supernova hip-hop you'll hear all year. Roots' vocal presence is massive, his iron-clad South London bluster more controlled than Dizzee's caged-dog bark and more commanding than the Streets' loutish lilt. His incomparable production pulls the more shadowy elements of hip-hop -- Afrobeat, breakbeat, dancehall, two-step -- into an even darker space, the soundtrack to some cyberpunk, back-alley dice game. With an ear for bombastic hooks and self-effacing wit, Roots stomps all over the first half of the album, leaving footprints vast enough to demand repeat listens at offensive volumes. The intensity and originality wane in the aptly titled album's denouement, but there's still more than enough freshness here to keep you afloat.