Following on from yesterday’s [Tuesday, February 2] featured look at the emerging Kojey Radical, we give you the next British artist expected to have a blinding year, the one and only Skepta.
To be brutally honest, Skepta (AKA Joseph Junior Adenuga) has been one to watch since his arrival on the scene back in the early nineties as part of the hugely influential Meridian Crew alongside Big H, Bossman Birdie and his brother JME. It wasn’t until the siblings branched off to create Boy Better Know though, that things really got rolling on a mass scale.
The collective established themselves as a grime group but also an independent record label, producing some of the finest Grime albums of the era including Wiley’s Da 2nd Phaze after his high profile departure from XL Recordings.
Skeppy’s debut album, ironically entitled Greatest Hits, was released on Boy Better Know to critical acclaim back in 2007 which solidified his status as one of the leading figures in Grime as both an emcee and producer. 2009’s Microphone Champion followed, featuring the anthemic “Too Many Man” that catapulted the Tottenham native to dizzying heights of stardom, which rather peculiarly coincided with Grime’s impending fall from grace.
Skepta continued to make challenging, hard-hitting music however and was just biding his time before the resurrection of the subculture. Two of the tracks that re-exploded the scene was undoubtedly 2014’s “That’s Not Me” and the monstrous “Shutdown,” which sounded like a nuke through a siren. It revived a whole genre (as well as the emergence of Stormzy admittedly) and arguably gave the scene a new height than the golden era of mid 2000s.
These two tracks are expected to be included on Skepta’s fourth studio album Konnichiwa, believed to be released in the forthcoming months.
Rumours were the album was to be dropped late last year, however enthusiasts were left to reel in anticipation a bit longer over one of the pioneers of post-millennium British music.
If his talent as a songwriter/producer/performer isn’t enough, he was recently awarded a respectable 7th place on GQ’s UK Best Dressed Men list, again emphasizing Grime’s influence on mainstream culture.
No doubt we can expect a few guest-verse spots on well-known releases over the coming year, but Konnichiwa is predicted to be a game-changer and another notch on Grime’s illustrious bedpost.
Let’s just hope the anticipation doesn’t outweigh the final product.