Prayin'

Album: The Defamation of Strickland Banks (2010)
Charted: 16

Songfacts®:

  • This gospel-soul tune is the third single from The Defamation of Strickland Banks, a concept album by British rapper Ben Drew, aka Plan B. The record is about a sharp-suited soul singer who gets sent to jail for a crime that he didn't commit and chronicles his journey from stage star to inmate and his subsequent fight for survival in jail. This song takes place in prison and finds Strickland being confronted by another inmate who attacks him. The incarcerated singer kills the attacker in self-defense with the help of another prisoner, who in answer to Strickland's prayers, takes the blame.
  • Drew explained where the name Strickland Banks came from to The Arts Desk: "When I started doing music I wanted a stage name. I used to have all these MC names. I used to go to my friends every couple of months and say, 'Yeah, this is my new MC name, when I'm on the mic, call me H.O.T.' Then, 'No, don't call me that, call me Hot Property,' then 'Don't call me that, call me MC Scholar.' It was stupid so I thought, 'People call me B, short for Ben, so if I have a name that has B in it no one has to change what they call me.' Doing soul I was Strictly B, Strictly Business, then I ended up doing hip hop as Plan B. When I started doing an album about a soul singer, he had to be Strictly B, right, but if he's in a court they can't go, 'Yo! Will Strictly B please stand,' so what's his real name? Strickland Banks."
  • The song's music video was directed by Daniel Wolfe and shows the story of Strickland during his time in prison. Fun Lovin 'Criminals frontman and BBC 6 Music DJ Huey Morgan has a cameo in the clip as a prisoner visited by his wife and child. He recalled to NME: "Ben (Drew) took me aside and said, 'We've got all these hot chicks - you can choose which one to sit next to. I thought it would be cool to sit by the big girl with the baby."

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