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ALBUM REVIEW: SKEPTA – KONNICHIWA

British grime artist Skepta just blessed us with his fourth studio album, Konnichiwa.  Skepta’s roll of success has been unstoppable lately, and just when I thought it was gonna die down, he brings forth this very solid LP.  I predict this album is gonna be a huge hit, not only in the UK but worldwide so if you meet a couple of youngins trying to speak in roadman slang after this then you know the reason.

Firstly, the production on this album is exemplary. The fact that he produced  most of the album himself is quite impressive.  Unlike Drake’s “Views” Skepta stays true to his original style and genre with this LP. The production is primarily grime. I’m surprised that Itunes hasn’t put grime as it’s own genre , just because most grime artists rap doesn’t really make it a Hiphop sub-genre. Grime is actually a development of UK garage, jungle and electro. But anyway, I really really really love the production throughout this album, like every. single. song. You feel me? lol

The LP starts off with the title track “Konnichiwa” which begins with slight Japanese vibes and female vocals. There’s an unexpected drop and the grime beats are introduced kicking off the album with explosive energy.  His lyrics are aggressive, he touches on topics of corruption, and losing life-long friends. This is totally what an intro song should sound like , really makes you wanna continue listening.

I’m so happy that Novelist was featured on the song “Lyrics”. He’s one of the fresh grime artists I’ve been following up on, and it’s a good come up for him to be on this album. This song is really bouncy and Skepta’s lyrics are super catchy. Novelist grabbed this opportunity with both hands and killed his verse.  I definitely see this being a nice club/rave song.

Next on the playlist is  “Corn on the Curb”.Skepta’s spoken openly about Wiley’s influence and mentor-ship , so seeing him featured on the album wasn’t surprising. Skepta’s kicks off with a really bold verse right off the bat and his flow is just unstoppable. My favorite part of this song is his phone conversation with Chip, where he confides in his friend about all the pressures of success, and fame.  Anyone who stays grinding for any dream should probably listen to that convo, I found it super motivational and inspiring. Plus it makes me really miss Chip, when’s his next album out?

Three songs in and I’m SO engrossed in this album and not disappointed at all. “Crime Riddim” has such a cold beat, the 808’s on this…. omg .  It goes a bit too hard that he has to slow it down a bit with a skit in the middle but when the beat comes back it just goes in even harder. He raps about troubles of dealing with the feds, and I suspect this theme will be recurring in the rest of the album as well. Sick song.

If you’re a Skepta fan you’ve probably heard “It Ain’t Safe” ft Young Lord already . It fits in perfectly after “Crime Riddim” , proper sequencing. I’ve heard this song so many times but it still goes hard every freaking time, truly timeless. Man, this album is so fucking wavy, and I don’t see this momentum slowing down, it just can’t !

“Ladies Hit Squad” allows you to have a bit of a breather, it’s production is a bit more chilled out and Skepta’s delivery is slower. It sounds significantly different from the previous songs which are hard grime bangers. Some may argue that this song is out of place but I think he really needed a song or two like this just to slow down the pace of the album a bit and filter your ears before he hits you with more aggressive grime beats… it fits in to the grand scheme of things.

“Numbers” has Pharrell’s take on a grime beat blended with his vintage style. It’s a really sick beat, I’m glad they did this song together.  Pharrell also jumps in the third verse,  and the instrumental is just so hype! Mad tune.  I remember hearing “Man” when he officially dropped it a few weeks ago and I got so excited , man! Lol.  I really felt like this song was a lowkey diss-track directed at Dizzee Rascal lol . When I used to listen to grime back in the day, it was mostly music for the club, and the lyrics weren’t really deep. One thing I’ve always loved about Skepta, other than always being able to come up with catchy one-liners, is his ability to tell stories.

“MAN’S NEVER BEEN IN MARQUEE WHEN IT’S SHUTDOWN EY? TRUSSSS MI DADDY.”This song needs no fucking introduction or review. If you fuck with good music you already know “Shutdown”. It’s a grime classic. I’ll just post the video for those of you who might be late af.

Is there a song on this album that isn’t absolute fire? This entire album is basically an inferno and I’m not even done yet. He collabs with his brother JME on the song  “That’s not me” . This is a very typical Skepta song, from beat to lyrics to everything. I love it.  I also love how Drake isn’t featured anywhere on this album as many people would have expected. Skepta stays doing his own thing and doesn’t ride on other people’s fame or success.

As I listen to “Detox” I can’t believe this album is almost over. NOOOO I want more, this has happened way to fast lol. This is always a good sign though. “Text Me Back” is the perfect closer to what has been such a remarkable album.  The lyrics are softer, as he addresses a certain girl.  It’s probably the most vulnerable he’s been on the album. It ends with an electronic instrumental with vocals similar to the ones in the intro song. Are there any bonus tracks? There’s gotta be moreee!!! “Konnichiwa” is just..intense. I sat down for five minutes after listening to it, just staring into space.  It’s the kind of projects that holds your attention from start to finish, you get completely lost in it.  People are seriously gonna love this album!

TCW RATING: 8.2/10

 

 

 

 

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