The unprecedented growth of Grime was one of the defining moments of British music last year. While it may have been overlooked by the Brits, which has thankfully been balanced out by the recent Ivor Novello nominations, you’ll be hard done to find someone who didn’t hear Skepta’s Shutdown blaring at any point in 2015 as the track managed to etch its minimalistic, catchy hook into the minds of everyone who listened to it.
With his fourth studio album Konnichiwa set to be the general public’s first experience of Skepta in LP form, the Boy Better Know co-founder has a lot of pressure on him which he’s managed to convey brilliantly on Man where a dynamic beat acts as the platform for him to call out friends and foes alike.
Whether it’s teachers who stated that he’d never amount to anything, the police who played a massive role in the death of his friend Mark Duggan or supposed allies who are leeching off his success, Skepta manages to do all witfully and with relative ease. Instrumentally, the track does very little to surprise though it could be that with its placement directly before Shutdown in the album’s tracklisting, it’s all Skepta’s intention to do so.
“Waking up with that on your head almost doesn’t allow you to make the best album you can.”
– Skepta speaking about the long recording process of Konichiwa in an interview with Zane Lowe (18th April 2016)
JME managed to surprise everyone when his album Integrity managed to top album lists in a way that hasn’t been seen in the genre since Boy In Da Corner, a record that single handedly pioneered grime when it first came around. Though it’s not clear what way Konichiwa will go, Man will be sure to feature in clubs and raves everywhere for the duration of 2016.