Stormzy continues to expand his reach in America. In addition to a dope set for this year’s Coachella Festival, the South Londoner also recently collaborated with Rock band Linkin Park and G.O.O.D. Music’s Pusha T for ‘Good Goodbye’.
The track will appear on Linkin Park’s forthcoming album One More Light (released 19th May).
Not a joke. Last week, Stormzy followed up a chart-topping album to announce his first ever #Merky Festival, which is set to take place at Ibiza Rocks 11th July. As you might’ve guessed, the event will see the South Londoner joined by several guests…expect to see many of Grime and UK Rap’s finest sharing the stage.
Everything Stormzy does has to be big — such was the case with his recent appearance in BBC’s Live Lounge, which saw the South Londoner joined by Ghetts, J Hus, MNEK and Wretch 32. You can check out the group’s performance of ‘Blinded by You Grace’, ’21 Gun Salute’, ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Godspeed’ above (you can get even more over at BBC)…if you haven’t already, you can check out Stormzy’s chart-topping albumGang Signs And Prayerhere.
Before Stormzy ripped into NME Magazine, he enjoyed some light banter with Ed Sheeran for Noisey’s latest episode of The People Vs.. Check that out above, which sees them reading comments from their ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and ‘Scary’ visuals, respectively.
If you missed it, you can check out the two going Back & Forth (also for Noisey) here.
Oh dear. NME’s latest issue features a cover story on depression, and uses an image of Stormzy as its lead-off (Stormzy spoke on his own battle in another interview, which they quoted as part of a larger editorial). Problem is, Stormzy didn’t give permission to be on said cover, and he’s pissed.
You can read the full rant, but key tweets are below:
@NME You lot are a bunch of real life fucking pussyholes. Proper dickheads. We've had a good relationship before this, why do you think
Wow! huge congrats to Stormzy: his new album Gang Signs & Prayer tops the new week’s Official Chart with a reported 68,594 units sold (presumably, this also includes streaming). He bested Rag’N’Bone Man’s Human by a mere 4,000 units roughly; Ed Sheeran’s x also hit the number three spot, which is amazing giving the fact that his new album dropped today.
In related news, you can also check out a couple of interviews from Stormzy below — one of which sees him centring on his depression (Channel 4) and one which saw him addressing some ignorance in regards to his culture
After a long-enough wait, Ed Sheeran finally liberates his new album ÷, which can be streamed below via Apple Music. In addition, we’ve also included Sheeran’s remixes of ‘Shape Of You‘, which features assistance from the likes of Major Lazer and Stormzy (the latter of whom performed his version with Sheeran at the BRIT Awards). We’re definitely excited to take this album in.
In related news: Ed Sheeran revealed that he whacked Justin Bieber in the face with a golf club (during or following a wild, drunken night out). Read more about that here.
We’ll keep this simple: if Skepta advanced Grime culture further into the mainstream by bridging musical gaps in rather experimental fashion (Konnichiwa), Stormzy — a man who’s only really started his career, relatively speaking — might’ve perfected the formula with his latest release Gang Signs & Prayer (GSAP). Preceded by the instant classic ‘Big For Your Boots’ (keeping with Konnichiwa references, think when you first heard ‘Shutdown’), GSAP is a tour de force of unrelenting lyricism immersed in autobiographical subject matter that dictated the South London emcee’s rise to power post-Cypher In The Booth. That’s not to say that the album is all muscle, either; thanks to somewhat futuristic, forward thinking production, Stormz is able to change speeds constantly and even break out in song — examples include gyal-friendly cuts like ‘Cigarettes & Cush’ and ‘Velvet/Jenny Francis Interlude’, as well as the emotional, Gospel-worthy ‘Blinded By Your Grace’ segments (Chance The Rapper’s potential influence immediately comes to mind for the latter).
GSAP sees 16 tracks and appearances from Kehlani, Wretch 32, Ghetts, J Hus, Lily Allen, MNEK, Raleigh Ritchie and even Grime legend Crazy Titch, who phones in to speak wisdom from prison a la Big Meech. Like Titch, every one of these features play a specific role adding to the cinematic nature of the project, which acts as an official debut from Stormzy for the commercial realm (even though its completely independent, which — like Konnichiwa, once again — will prove to be an extraordinary accomplishment for the UK music scene, if not music period). [SIDEBAR: Of his most-known previous hits — ‘Know Me From’, ‘Scary’, etc. — only ‘Shut Up’ makes the cut on GSAP. In no way does this hurt the overall, much-fresher-because effort, save for maybe an extra boost in sales stream-wise.]
You can stream Gang Signs & Prayer below via Apple Music. We know one thing is for sure: man’s better be getting every nomination (and award win) moving forward….for the singing, at least.
Both Stormzy and Ed Sheeran are currently at the forefront musically, preparing to release their new albums (Gang Signs & Prayer and ÷, respectively). Above, Noisey puts the two artists together for their Back & Forth series, which sees them speaking hilariously on how they met, sex, iPhone’s waterproof abilities and more.
This is super dope: during a recent visit to BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge series, Stormzy breaks out a crazy cover of Kanye West and Chance The Rapper’s The Life Of Pablo collaboration ‘Ultralight Beam’. Just another reason to be excited for Stormzy’s forthcoming album Gang Signs & Prayer…speaking of, you can catch the South Londoner breaking down the new album (which can be pre-ordered here) in a recent interview with The Guardian.