Grime MC Skepta had a fantastic year in 2015, and it
You’d have to have been living under a pretty large (and Wifi-less) rock to not have heard the voice of Joseph Junior Adenuga at some point this year. 2015 has been a standout year for grime and Skepta has no doubt been grime’s man of the moment.
Unfortunately the Tottenham MC was otherwise engaged when we reached out to him for an interview — hardly surprising for someone who’s spent his year playing to thousands of people in East London car parks, headlining festivals, appearing at the Brits with Kanye, rejecting the MOBOs to smoke a joint and Facetime his fans — and releasing some straight fire in the process.
Thirteen years of ups and down have seen Skepta do pop, and even release a Turkish song (‘Oynama Sikidim Sikidim’), but now is firmly his time — after an epiphany that made him realise that he had to be true to himself and his sound.
Ubiquitous tracks like ‘Shutdown’, ‘It Ain’t Safe’, ‘That’s Not Me’, ‘Top Boy’, as well as the Wizkid-produced ‘Ojuelegba’ featuring Drake — along with the surge in mainstream media interest in the genre — have meant that the grime veteran’s words have been on the lips of kids all over the world.
The Boy Better Know co-founder has proven to be a favourite with US rappers including Champagne Papi, Mr West and New York collective Ratking, something that’s helped heighten his profile exponentially. Though it’s not a co-sign from the US, as the brand of music that Skepta’s pushing is fiercely British, and his own completely — paving the way for other young vocalists to take the lead. It’s the very real sound of London’s streets.
Skepta’s eagerly-awaited album ‘Konnichiwa’ — originally billed for mid-2015 — should be arriving at some point next year, though exactly when remains to be seen. We’re keeping our ears firmly to the ground.
Words: FELICITY MARTIN