Skepta's "Konnichiwa"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 7, 2016 11:51am | Post a Comment

Skepta, Konnichiwa-- By doubleay

As grime continues to blow up globally, Skepta seems to be comfortably sitting at the top of the game after the release of his fourth studio album, Konnichiwa. Although North America has been fairly aware of prominent UK MC’s like Wiley and Dizzy Rascal, the hard hitting, nitty gritty grime scene has been popping off in the UK since the early 2000’s. Ushered in by Skepta and his Boy Better Know crew, there has been a massive boom in North America for the sub-genre, almost coinciding with the 2014 release of Skepta’s “That’s Not Me (feat. JME)" single.

As North America finally began catching on to the UK’s hottest Hip-hop sound, Skepta did not slow down. From 2014 to the release of Konnichiwa (2016), singles like “That’s Not Me,” “Shutdown,” and “It Ain’t Safe (feat. A$AP Mob’s Young Lord)” all charted in the top 50’s on the UK singles chart, while simultaneously running up millions of SoundCloud plays. Through the great success of his recent music, his association with A$AP Rocky’s A$AP Mob, and a historical performance with Kanye West at the 2015 BRIT Awards, Hip-hop fans everywhere are Skepta’s for the taking.

Kanye West performs "All Day" with Allan Kingdom and a gang of grime affiliate artists on stage:

The past two years have been a whirlwind of a global assault for Skepta. In 2015, he was playing anywhere and everywhere, and blowing the roof of buildings dropping his track “Shutdown,” which is unarguably one of the most noteworthy records from the year. Although he was firing up major festival shows, he and his BBK crew were still keeping it true to the streets with underground shows like his April 2015 performance at Shoreditch in East London.

Skepta performs “That’s Not Me,” “It Ain’t Safe,” and “Shutdown” at Shoreditch:

Konnichiwa took two years to complete due to delays in production and mixing, and over that time period Skepta achieved momentum leading up to the release. Debuting with a global livestream from a Boiler Room launch party in Tokyo, the timing of Konnichiwa could not have been any better. He was relentlessly grinding to spread his sound globally and the release of the album is essentially the checkmate move in his game. Skepta’s intensely aggressive flow is agile, precise, and critical. Combined with the album’s hard hitting signature grime production heard throughout, Skepta executes each line over the heavy drum line rhythms, which, riddled with booming horn stabs, bring a high energy to the project. The album is riot-ready music and a must for any Hip-hop fan looking to hear a style new to the U.S., or just all-around great Hip-hop.

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Kanye West (40), Rap (134), Hip-hop (217), England (23), Grime (1), Skepta (1), Double Ay (24)