Stormzy came onto the scene in 2014 with his debut EP Dreamers Diseases. That very same year he won his first MOBO for best grime act, he also won award in 2015. That same year Stormzy’s song ‘Shut up’ charted on the UK top 40.
After a hiatus, Stormzy has finally released his debut album, Gang Signs and Prayers which was released on his own record label, #Merky Records. His single “Big for your boots” has over 15 million YouTube and entered the Official UK chart at number 6. Gang Signs and prayers is a collection of songs that are the balance between faith, love and the streets.
As a whole what I loved about the album is that collectively they told a story, that was easy to connect to, and consistent beautiful backing vocals that in way tied together the stories that were told. Stormzy’s no fucks given attitude calling out clubs like DSTRKT for their less than favourable actions towards black people and radio stations such as LBC, that blamed artists such as Stormzy for knife crime within the community. (He went on the same radio station and confronted the host in person).
When it comes to having favourite songs of the album, this could change every 15 minutes as I could easily find something positive to say about each song but my current favs are:
Cigarettes and Cush – ft. Kelhani, (with uncredited vocals from Lily Allen)
This song has such a chilled relaxed vibe and by the time you get to the bridge where Kelhani makes an appearance you’re already in a trance by the song. And I guarantee if you are having a stressful day by the end of the song you won’t be.
21 Gun Salute – ft. Wretch 32.
The church vibe, from the jump that puts you in a place of peace and a strong vocal from Wretch 32, gives the song such a strong start. Later in the song, Stormzy speaks on some home truths, that touch your soul. He reinforces the message that it is not silly to dream and to have ambition and look to the future.
Velvet ft. Jenny Francis
Anyone that used to listened to Choice FM would probably know who Jenny Francis is, it was a nice surprise throwback, especially because choice FM is no longer around.
If Gang signs and Prayer is anything to go by, we will be hearing a lot more of Stormzy and this is only the beginning and if you’re still not still not a Stormzy fan by this point, I don’t know what more the guy could do.