Skepta is responsible for the commercial boom in Grime music, the streetwise hip-hop / electronic music crossover genre that perpetually tops the charts across the pond. Originating on UK pirate radio, the genre has remained relatively underground since its origins in the early 2000s. Skepta's 2016 album Konnichiwa was delayed several times (over several years) but received unilateral acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, going on to win the 2016 Mercury Prize (beating David Bowie!) among other accolades. Ignorance Is Bliss is his fifth LP, and is primarily self-produced, but his vocals remain the main event here. “Throughout it all is Skepta's flow, honed by years spent in clashes, raves and booths into a formidable instrument… The chief pleasure of this album is how much it allows Skepta to be Skepta: an MC who always looks, waits, then darts between the traffic of his beats.” says The Guardian, but this record is more than mere braggadocio. The record shows a more restrained side of Skepta than on previous efforts, his work governed by years of discipline and authority. The disc starts with the 16-bit beats of “Bullet From A Gun”, solid sub-bass and rapid-fire drums demonstrating the influence that Trap has had on Grime in recent years. “Greaze Mode” features panned electronic tones and an auto-tuned guest vocal by Nafe Smallz. “What Do You Mean?” is monophonic keys and looped strings, fiercely spat rhymes contrasted with J Hus’ emotive drawl. This double LP arrives in a special heat-reactive LP jacket and includes printed inners.
- double black vinyl pressing
- heat reactive gatefold jacket w/ printed inner sleeves
- back cover is heat sensitive, changes colors when touched
- music label: Boy Better Know 2019
reviewed by PATENTED SKINNER BURGERS 07/2019