Skepta – Konnichiwa
Release Date: 07/05/2016
Label: Boy Better Know
Producers: Skepta, Pharrell, Blakie, Ragz Originale
Singles: That’s Not Me, Shutdown, Man (Gang)
Grime has been around for a long ol’ time, let me set the record straight in saying that is in no way a new phenomena. However, a while ago Skepta ‘broke through’ with That’s Not Me and Shutdown, a transatlantic co-sign from Drake and Kanye West later, grime was all the rage, and the most fashionable brand of music to like. In turn with the UK’s new-found admiration for the likes of Skepta, JME and Stormzy, the US jumped on the bandwagon, lauding over the brilliance that is grime, or so-called ‘UK hip-hop’. With all this hype surrounding grime, with Skepta at the forefront, the release of his fourth studio album Konnichiwa, could not have been timed better.
Despite the fame, the hype and the distractions, Skepta has undoubtedly created a gem. It’s all-out grime, with trademark beats and relentless gritty lyricism. Konnichiwa beams the aura of what American’s call ‘UK hip-hop’, yet with a glimmer or a flicker or refined perfection. A one-track appearance from Pharrell, or the slight instrumental tweaks from Skeppy himself, Konnichiwa feels much cleaner and certainly more decisive than 2011’s Doin’ It Again.
Konnichiwa will have have a lot of people undecided. It’s grime, and unforgiving in its execution of it, however, with that comes an underlying formulaic, and done-before shadow. You have to remember that That’s Not Me was released over two years ago now, and nearly half of the album is nothing new to the more devoted Skepta fans among us. That being said, the already-apparent material is still some of the 33-year-old’s most impactful material, and the songs on the LP alongside these are also as memorable.
Being the first grime project American’s have got their hands on, Konichiwa has already been called ‘a modern day classic’, and ‘the best grime project so far’. It’s not, but it’s still a solid piece of work.
Verdict – WWWV