Attempting to educate readers on the godfather of grime is quite a difficult task. If you want to read a bit of a biography, click on the link here. But if you want to take a dive into his musical persona, keep on reading.
Skepta’s music, as well as his taste in fashion, has gradually evolved throughout the years. As time goes on, Skepta has stayed relevant as he’s managed to possess his MC voice while rapping on modern beats. If you take a look back to songs on his album Konnichiwa and compare them to Ignorance is Bliss, you can draw upon similarities in many different facets.
Let’s take a little peak at some of Skepta’s classics, and introduce you to the modern day sound of Skepta. Both are GOAT tier, but for different reasons.
Look Out, Track 5/Ace Hood Flow, Greatest Hits, Too Many Man
Taking a look back at Skepta’s classics requires a very acute sense of hearing. He’s an artist who places a lot of emphasis on his lyrics and wordplay. Characteristics such as these are why UK rappers explode in North America and other parts of the world. We’re not as accustomed to rappers doing more than chat about drugs, money and women. Pair his admiration for mind bending lyrics with bone crunching beats and you have a recipe for success.
Skepta and Giggs released Look Out Microphone Champion in 2009. In this track, the pair split down the middle and approach the beat with rigorous flair. The same vibe can be found from Skepta in Greatest Hits. In these two tracks Skepta showcases the classic Grime MC voice that we’ve become accustomed to over the years. The beat is fasty, catchy and will surely throw you back to the 2000s.
Too Many Man and Track 5 or Ace Hood Flow are both integral songs from Skepta for different reasons. Too Many Man has been coming back to the spotlight recently as EDM and House DJs have done killer spinoffs. “We need some more girls in here, there’s too many man, too many many man,” has become an infamous bar layered overtop of body swaying nouse beats. Track 5 introduces a more aggressive, sort of bullish tone from Skeppy as bars are delivered with less flair and more of an oomph. It’s just another one of those instances where Skepta showed off his dominance in the rap game.
THE MODERN DAY
Konnichiwa, Shutdown, What Do You Mean?, Greaze Mode
As we progress into the 2010s and 2020s, Skepta takes a bit of a softer approach to rap. We still have songs like Konnichiwa and Shutdown which are absolute head bashers. Konnichiwa is a song that makes you feel no shame about pulling up the lyrics on Genius and attempted to go bar for bar with Big Smoke. You might not be able to empathize with every bar, but you’re surely able to deliver the bars with just as much force.
Shutdown has become a bit of a meme due to Drake’s sample in the intro. “Man’s never been in Marquee when it’s shutdown eh, trust me daddy,” was taken from the six god’s social media account in the mid 2010s. However, the snippet opens up one of the hardest tracks to have ever been released by Skepta. He takes his vintage beats and stirs them into a pot with a bit more of a modern melody. In this track, he flexes his guns to previous generations, and future Skepta wannabes.
Finally, What Do You Mean? and Greaze Mode off of Ignorance is Bliss are two terrific examples of the lighter side of Skepta. What Do You Mean? employs the RnB voice of J Hus in the chorus while Skepta does his thing in between. What ends up happening is a really smooth dichotomy between J Hus’ ability to slow down a beat and warm up your singing chords. While on the other hand Skepta flips the script, bringing you back to the head-banging, aggressive MC that we find in Konnichiwa. Greaze Mode has a similar effect although it stays on the mild side of the spectrum throughout. His lyrics are a bit more playful and his overall tone is less aggressive.
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