Released 31st May 2019
Favourite track: Gangsta
When he said “I’m a king, she’s a queen you know what’s happening” I was already loving the lines of this album and I was glad to see it only got better with hard bass lines and great beats
Skepta is a popular UK grime artist and producer based in London whose songs have reached Top 40 charts. He is inspired by UK and US Hip-Hop music and this is evident in listening to the production of his latest album. He has collaborated with some major artists such as A$AP Rocky and Pharrell Williams but, for me, I think I was only really familiar with his really famous hit ‘That’s Not Me’ so it was interesting to see what his recent music is like. The album cover is an interesting visual take on expressing the content of the album (violence, crime, love, success etc) using thermographic images. Very pop art looking too.
The first song of the album entitled ‘Bullet From A Gun’ has a STRONG bass line and beat. The rapping is skilled with great flow just like in the main catchy line: “like a bullet from a gun it hurts / when you realise she was never your girl it was just your turn” which I’ve already seen quoted on social media (lol). The powerful bass line is continued in the next song ‘Greaze Mode’ which features Nafe Smallz with quite Travis Scott sound to it mixed with UK Rap. ‘What Do You Mean?’ featuring J Hus is one of my favourites of the album with a nice hook alongside a strong but slower beat and decent lines.
He definitely expresses a combination of bitterness and attack but also vulnerability in his lyrics with a lot of it saying ‘yeah I’ve made it now so like fuck all of you especially the girls that screwed me over and the people who chat shit about me’ which is a solid mood. I think a lot of UK Rap and Hip-Hop is either about smoking up, hanging out and having lots of girls to pass time but it’s actually refreshing to have lyrics that are clever, witty, explore social issues and their own experiences. It usually ends up being these songs that establish an artist as more than just a ‘rapper’. I have to say the man speaks the truth when it comes to looking at how people nowadays have no idea what they’re doing when they get involved with someone else. ‘Same Old Story’ literally sums up most of the problems and I’m here like wow he really has just said it how it is.
The opening production to ‘Animal Instinct’ grabbed my attention. The music has this kind of soft, delicate, chorally vibe with a small hi-hat with rapping over it with a beat only coming in half way through the song. This one does explore social issues about race and crime which has quite a haunting quality to it. One song I have to say is just amazing is the diss-track ‘Gangsta’ exposing the guys who think they’re something they’re just…not. I have to say the lines are SO GOOD. I guess anyone who fits the description in this song should just stop trying.
This album is probably good for a house party or late night car ride on the way to a motive (am I really allowed to try to speak London slang if I was born in West London but raised in Birmingham? Is this even London slang? I don’t know) but yes, a strong album with very quotable rap lyrics.