Sorry Skepta, but this is far from your greatest moment.
This guy always killed it when he did strictly grime, but now he’s moved closer to trap, or traditional hip hop to maybe try and compete with American artists? I don’t vibe with this at all. He has showcased the lyrical chops to be able to hold up to most American hip hop artists, but doesn’t go hard that often, and that’s not what grime is about anyway. Lyrically this outing just falls flat.
American hip hop, and UK grime are two completely different approaches to rap. Grime, which Skepta is good at, is based on wild, hard beats, with elements of drum and bass, and dance music. While hip hop, is more about showcasing the lyricism of the artist. A lot of grime artists have been trying to burst into the US scene for a while, but I don’t think this is the way to do it. The “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” method goes totally against my understanding of the spirit of grime as a whole. “Same Old Story” and “Love Me Not” were the only, sort of, grime tracks on the whole record, and to my point, the only interesting tracks.
Skepta was my introduction into grime, with “Ace Hood Flow” which is a lyrical take down of other grime artists in the UK. He smashes those in his scene that made a quick living off of copying American beats, and American style, while he came up hard, and fought to stay true to grime even though it was more difficult to build a career in the genre.
Grime just isn’t as popular, and therefore artists who make it big while staying true to it, are obviously way more talented than the rest. I’m confused why Skepta basically made a bad American hip hop record now, especially a few years after dropping “Ace Hood Flow”. I was excited when I saw I got to review this record. I really enjoyed his previous work.