An extract on #way2ill
The film Ill Manors was written as a "hip hop musical for the twenty-first century", incorporating elements of both crime drama and music video sequences. Plan B had always intended to narrate the film with a different song for each the six stories, however some songs were written later, such as "Ill Manors". Due to success of The Defamation of Strickland Banks, Plan B toured extensively for two years and post-production of the film and the recording of the album was not completed until 2012.
Recording sessions for the album took place at The Sanctuary in London and Edge Recording Studio in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. Speaking about the album in an interview, Drew stated, "You could call it bassline, soul, with a bit of hip hop. The album has the lyrical depth of my first record but the musical composition is light years ahead, as it's informed by everything I've learnt in the last five years writing, producing and playing with a live band. I feel I'm better than I've ever been." In an NME magazine interview with Drew on 31 March 2012, "I Am the Narrator", the first song heard in the film, was originally given the working title of "Fairydust". "Deepest Shame" was first written as a hip hop song entitled "Michelle" that was used in Drew's 2008 short film Michelle and features beatboxer Faith SFX. The version of "Michelle" that was used in Ill Manors has some elements similar to "Deepest Shame", however for the album release the song was re-written as more of a soul number, although "Michelle" is included on the deluxe edition bonus disc.
"Lost My Way" was first performed live on Later... with Jools Holland in May 2012 and Drew claimed that he was still writing the second verse on the way to the TV studio. Before its performance at Maida Vale, Plan B stated the working title of "Playing with Fire" was "Jake", named after its corresponding character in the film. During an interview via Digital Spy on 6 June 2012, Drew admitted that he had to yet to complete work on the record. After the performance, Drew was interviewed by Zane Lowe, and he admitted that although work was due to be completed on the album on that day, the album was still incomplete. In an NME interview in March 2012, it was stated that a track entitled "Don't Be Afraid", produced by former Plan B collaborators Chase & Status, had been pencilled in as the second single. The final album did not contain any production from Chase & Status. The same interview confirmed a track called "The Towers" had been completed. This did not feature on the album, and it is unclear whether it was re-titled or remains unreleased. "Lost My Way", "Great Day for a Murder" and "Live Once" do not feature in the movie. "Pity The Plight" contains different lyrics to the movie version, which deals with Chris getting information out of Terry at the garage. The album version deals with the stand-off between Chris, Jake and Marcell.