The walls of the Hollywood night den Teddy’s are thumping to “Frisky,” the electronic dance tune by U.K. rap phenomenon Tinie Tempah. Over its whomping bass line, Tinie won-ders, “If I tell her I’m a boxer/Will she let me down her knickers?” – and the club goes nuts. Only problem is, the MC is stuck outside – his cashmere cardigan isn’t making the grade at Teddy’s velvet rope.
The next day, Tinie shrugs off the snub: “I could still hear them playing my song – sounded like it was working!” He grins, with good reason: Disc-Overy, his debut LP, went straight to Number One in the U.K. last year (“Chris Martin told me it was his favorite album to work out to”), and a U.S. version is due this spring. The banging “Pass Out” was adopted by Snoop Dogg, who performed it with Tinie at last summer’s Glastonbury Festival – and now the 22-year-old is poised to become the first MC from the U.K.’s raucous “grime” scene to climb the U.S. pop charts.