Skepta’s Konnichiwa not only cemented his legendary grime status, it is a testament to the independent label. It illustrated what can be achieved through grit, determination and loyalty in the fact of conformation and pop stardom.
The album had been teased since 2013, so to say that Konnichiwa was heavily anticipated is a bit of an understatement. Humorous slang is welded together with vicious lyrics, the crosshairs aimed in the direction of the media, the police, the government and pop culture.
It’s this DIY culture, that other grime artists such as Novelist have adopted, that has drawn comparisons with the punk scene. Grime is viewed as a modern version, a constant struggle against the establishment, ideally leading to an uprising and revolution.
In a musical sense, Konnichiwa has taken grime to a popularity level that did not seem possible. A grime album held of Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ in the album charts. Drake, arguably the biggest rapper around right now in terms of popularity, has signed to BBK, an independent grime label from London. The BRIT’s may not have recognised grime as a major influence on modern music, but Skepta as well and truly established the UK scene is a force to be reckoned with.
In a genre that is primarily single based it’s hard to choose an album to compare it to. Boy In Da Corner is the obvious choice, but I feel it’s unfair to draw comparisons between the two. After all, Dizzee’s album is something of legend, only time will tell if Konnichiwa leaves as big a mark on UK culture as Rascal’s masterpiece.
08 / 09
Reflecting – Microphone Champion (June 1st 2009)
Reflecting is taken from Microphone Champion, an album that didn’t receive raving reviews, but again contains a few great examples of just how good Skepta can be lyrically. He even acknowledges this on the opening track, stating that he knows people think he’s fallen off, but at the same time his mother says she’s the happiest parent in the world, and he knows which one he cares about more.
Reflecting is both a shot at those looking on in jealousy as he climbs the grime ladder and an acknowledgement of how important family remains even in the face of success. The beat is great too; it compliments Skepta’s fast paced, soft flow as he spits about remaining with his gang and the constant annoyance of dealing with jealousy and hate.