The online dictionary defines a storm as a disturbance of the normal condition of the atmosphere manifesting itself by winds of unusual force or direction. Do you really need me to elaborate what I’m trying to say here? Seriously? Sigh, okay. Stormzy is the literal definition of a storm. He IS the disturbance of the atmosphere – the atmosphere being the grime scene of course.
The recent release of his debut album ‘Gang Signs and Prayer’ is just another violent disturbance to add to the already shaken up environment. With 8 tracks breaking into the UK top 40 and the entire album entering Spotify’s top 50 chart. This article comes 5 days after the release of the album for two reasons: 1, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the album immediately due to the fact that I wasn’t physically prepared for what was about to rain down on me. Reason number 2 is because after I had finally listened to it I basically had to drain my room because it was over flooding with tears I had wept due to this album. Very few albums make me cry during a first listen but in the rare case that it does, it’s just due to the passion I have for music and the gratitude and pride I feel for the artist. Regarding Stormzy, it was a colossal amount.
Just revaluating how far he’s come and the barriers he’s broken down, I felt very invested in this album as an aspiring music journalist. Stemming from Thornton Heath in South London, of course there was going to be some disparity towards him solely due to what the media insinuates about that side of the Thames. He’s unapologetically black, very outspoken when referring to politics and social issues and has a supposedly intimidating stature to idiotic members of the public who are judgmental and borderline racist.
Those individuals are gonna have to deal with it because what I can say from GSAP is that he has a permanent residence on the on the charts and probably in your favourite news outlet and he’s not getting evicted anytime soon love. I’m not going to review the album, that’s something I refuse to do. Why? Just listen to it. You don’t need me to tell you how great it is or how fucking amazing the bars are or that he really is a legend in the making just for the fact that he has an interlude that features the one and only Lady Of Soul Jenny Francis. OR THE FACT THAT MAN SWITCHED FROM WICKEDSKENGMAN TO FRANK OCEAN IN THE TIME FRAME OF 2 MINUTES AND 41 SECONDS. I don’t know if that’s an accurate timing but either way I’m still spinning.
Big Mike’s growth started underground with Wickedskengman freestyles and multiple uploads on his YouTube Channel StormzyTV. Some recognition was definitely gained and some more was added with the release of his EP Dreamers Disease in July 2014. Then along with winning Best Grime Act at the MOBO Awards twice in a row (2014, 2015), he basically was and still is unstoppable. I mean, an unsigned rapper performing with Jools Holland is something that was unheard of before Stormzy. Oh, and performing at a BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall (which I witnessed in the flesh), his repertoire is becoming exceedingly immense. And when a freestyle in the park is certified Gold, you really cannot chat any sort of shit about him. I really won’t allow it. His work rate is second none from his performance at the BRIT Awards to 3 surprise performances on album release day. Interviews from our cultural vanguards such as NFTR and Rinse FM to mainstream nationwide corporations such BBC Radio 4 to Manchester United, he grafts like he’s never tasted success. Phenomenal.
I could really ramble for ages how proud I am of Stormzy. At the age of 23 he has certainly booted down doors with his size 12 feet and work ethic. The first time I met him was at his birthday party at Thorpe Park last year, and I was completely mesmerised by how humble he was. A likeable person such as himself deserves the upmost respect for what he’s doing and all the well wishes in the world for him to continue his greatness and spread it to all corners of the world.