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Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew (born 22 October 1983), primarily known as Plan B or Ben Drew, is a British rapper, singer-songwriter, actor and film director from Forest Gate, London. Plan B first emerged as a hip hop artist releasing his critically acclaimed debut album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words in 2006. His second studio album The Defamation of Strickland Banks (2010) was a soul record and went straight into the UK album chart at no. 1. He has also collaborated with other artists such as Chase & Status most notably on the top ten single "End Credits" (2009).
Drew has also had a successful film career as an actor, with roles in Adulthood (2008), Harry Brown (2009) and 18.104.22.168 (2010). In 2012, Drew released the film Ill Manors, which he had written and directed, and Plan B also released an accompanying soundtrack album.
Drew was born and brought up in Forest Gate, East London. His mother worked for a local authority and his father, Paul Ballance, played in a punk band, The Warm Jets, in the 1970s. Drew was five months old when his father walked out and six years old when he "disappeared completely". Growing up, he felt outcast from the rest of society:
We weren't working class but we weren't middle class, we were in the void in-between. I've always felt like a social outcast.
From 11, Drew attended Anglo European School in Ingatestone, Essex, was later transferred to Tom Hood School, a specialist Science College in Leytonstone, before being expelled and sent to Tunmarsh Pupil Referral Unit in Newham, for children unable to attend mainstream school. He finally left school with three GCSEs. He taught himself how to play guitar at 14, first playing Blur and Oasis with friends, then going on to write his own R&B love songs. At 18, feeling uncomfortable with R&B, he turned towards rap and hip hop music and wrote "Kidz", inspired by the murder of Damilola Taylor
The whole reason for calling myself Plan B was that I was doing this sweet-boy Justin Timberlake shit, but I never felt comfortableâ€¦ When I started rapping, it was easier for me to feel comfortable.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments