It's been 3 years since Skepta changed the game with the release of his 'Konnichiwa' album, and after becoming a dominant, global superstar from then till now, it is now time for the Nigerian native, North London raised talent to shift the culture yet again with the release of a brand new body of work, 'Ignorance Is Bliss'.
To put things into context let's take it back to 2014 when Skepta kick started a new wave in the UK with the release of his collaborative single 'That's Not Me'. A track which saw him team up with his blood brother JME, kicking up a huge buzz which then flowed over into the release of 'It Ain't Safe'. The gritty, heavy hitting single perfectly showcased UK culture and the life of people from all over the country who were just like Skepta and his crew, and it was clear to see that Skep and the BBK family were about to take the game by storm.
Photography by. Jamie Drew | JDShotYou
It was at this point that Grime was really re-ignited, sparking a huge buzz up and down the country, but this time it was on a whole new level, the masses were gripped to this new sound and style that had taken over UK culture. Ultimately this contributed to a new wave of artists who were not necessary making 'Grime' music, but were exploring with their creative ability all whilst showcasing UK culture.
The success from the likes of Skepta, and his peers made many come to the realisation that they could make a living from music and see global success. It was possible, but of course, with this comes an over-saturated market that steers away from artists building their own sound and carrying passion in their work. Despite the greatness that was unveiling across Britain, there was a lot of 'lazy' releases, and it was time for Skepta to change things, and that is where 'Konnichiwa' comes in. At the time of release, the 12 track body of work pushed all the boundaries, creating a whole new feel, which could not be replicated. The culture had been shifted, creatives across the UK began to re-think their approach and image, looking into new sounds, styles and ways of engaging with the masses. The UK was thriving even more, and people were reaping the rewards for it.
The job had been done, and now it was time to for the UK legend to go and continue his mission and build on his already long list of successes. It was clear to see that Skepta had so much he wanted to achieve outside of music, and what better time to venture with your career than when your name is in lights after the release of your Mercury Prize winning album. We saw the multi-talented creative make real power moves like the launch of his clothing brand 'MAINS' and the collaboration with Nike for his very own sneaker collection, business moves that really opened the worlds eyes to just how gifted Skepta really is. But, he still found time to make hits. The Tottenham MC made waves on an international scale with the release of 'Bad Energy' with WizKid which went Silver in the UK, and 'Praise The Lord' with A$AP Rocky which went platinum over in the states. So, whilst Skepta is venturing down a number of creative paths, he is still setting the benchmark with his music, letting everyone know why he is held in such high regard.
Whilst taking in all the success, and all the opportunity that was coming his way, Skepta still found time to invest into his private life, and build the foundations for his future generations. The superstar went back to his parents home town in Nigeria and was made a chief. Skepta was conferred in Ogun State, Nigeria and was given the title of 'Amuludun of Odo-Aje (Chief Entertainer), an incredible achievement that allows him to really invest into his roots and help build his native country, and the village in which his parents were raised. Another life changing moment in recent times for Skepta has been the arrival of his first child. Skepta announced back in 2018 that he was expecting a child and towards the end of the year he unveiled the first picture of him and his baby daughter.
So, when you take it all the way back to 2014, you can appreciate how much of a whirlwind the last 5 years has been for Skepta. A true UK icon, who has helped shape UK culture with his music and other business ventures, which has ultimately helped build strong foundations and opportunities for the wide range of talent that we have to offer. But, after a recent interview with DJ Target on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Skepta stated that he felt it was time to shift the culture again, and that is what 'Ignorance Is Bliss' is set to do. Do not expect any track to sound the same, as Skepta explores with his music, and brings some brand new sounds for the scene to appreciate. We have already received 'Bullet From A Gun' which sent the UK into frenzy, and it was quickly followed up with 'Greaze Mode' a collaborative track with Nafe Smallz. This link up has huge global appeal, and if you check out the interview you will understand that Skep hand picked Nafe to feature on the record, as he is one act who has shown time and time again that his sound can resonate with people across the world. With that being said, you can understand the direction Skepta is coming from with this body of work... shift the culture with internationally appealing music that showcases the UK to the fullest.
He has done in time and time again. Skepta has an incredible ability to blow our minds with the sounds and styles that he creates, and it is safe to say that the team here at CGuk cannot wait to take in this body of work. Make sure you're ready for the album and take in the two singles that we have already received from 'Ignorance Is Bliss' via the links below, and don't forget to cope the album when it arrives on 31st May 2019.