Trussss mi daddy. The vinyl version of Skepta’s Mercury Prize-winning fourth album comes three whole years after we initially got hooked on “That’s Not Me,” the first leak from the record. On Konnichiwa, grime's Top Boy catches the vibe of his early white-label singles “Pulse Eskimo,” “Panorama,” “Dirty” and “Ring Tone Tune;” when a grime record almost always meant an instrumental, and lyrics were reserved for pirate radio clashes. The nascent genre was a spinoff of UK garage that magnified its grittier qualities; typified by a pastiche of ice-cold square waves, 8-bit video game samples and hard techno drums rearranged into syncopated rhythms. After getting in at the ground floor and steadily rising to the top of the grime scene, all while staying independent and humbly racking up hits, Joseph Adenuga Jr. finds himself bored with the stale sound of grime and disenchanted with his own aesthetic; a realization he outlines in detail on “That’s Not Me,” the album’s most potent tune. Drake surprised the music world by quoting a few bars from the track on “Used To,” a moment which began a trans-continental bromance that has seen the two trade tattoos but has yet to yield a full-on collaboration. Skepta returns the favor here by sampling Drake’s 2014 drunken vine post in which he speaks in a fake patois, recycling it into the roadman anthem “Shutdown,” one of the album’s highlights. Elsewhere, Skepta links with Pharrell Williams, ASAP Nast and Young Lord (aka ASAP Bari), but the brightest moments come when he keeps it close to home. “Lyrics” channels the tower block kitchen clashes of the early days of grime, and “Corn On The Curb” features a rare appearance from Wiley, the godfather of grime who briefly recruited Skepta into Roll Deep in 2006. Skepta made most of the beats himself (with a notable emphasis on the original eski grime sound invented by Wiley), with help by London producer Ragz Originale, and most of the better vocal assists come from his brother JME and other members of Boy Better Know. Our favorite moments are the two songs which bookend the album: the title track, a hyperactive show opener which contains some of Skepta’s sharpest bars to date, and “Text Me Back”, a reflective and sentimental tribute to his bird and mum laced with late-night eski synths and Nokia chirps. This red vinyl pressing comes housed in high-quality color print inner and outer sleeve and is extremely limited, so grip now before this reaches "Functions On The Low" prices, innit? Recommended.
- red vinyl pressing
- printed inner sleeve
- limited edition
- music label: Boy Better Know 2017
reviewed by peanut dust 06/2017
CLICK TO PLAY AUDIO PREVIEWS
Questions & Answers
Have a Question?
Be the first to ask a question about this.