Published 12 months ago
Joseph Adenuga, better known by his rap name, Skepta, has blown up in The States and has brought grime to the surface. Of course, there are other grime artists that have gotten attention and have been relevant to the scene, but ever since Skepta started doing strategic collaborations and getting some love on More Life, he has reached new heights.
His music career really started after he started his own label, Boy Better Know in 2005. He started the label with his brother, known as JME in the rap scene, along with a few others. His prior releases - Greatest Hits (2007), Microphone Champion (2009) and Doin' It Again (2011) were all great pieces of work. He grabbed the UK's attention with three of his singles being charted Top 40 on the UK Charts, with Doin' It Again in the Top 100 Album releases in the UK. He also won an award at the MOBO Awards for Best Video in 2014 for "That's Not Me". Later that year he released a track with Red Eye to Paris featuring Flatbush Zombies, an American trio rap group based out of Brooklyn, New York. He then collaborated with Drake for a remix of Ojuelegba by Wizkid. When Slepta released his fourth studio album, Konnichiwa, he became recognized as a grime artist in the US.
These collaborations were the stepping stones to his global debut. It didn't stop there though - he got brought out by Kanye West to a show where he was performing in London. His biggest collaboration yet has been with Drake, who has apparently signed to Skepta's BBK label in 2016, but has stated that they would be separate contracts. Drake also gave Skepta prime real estate on his most recent album, More Life, with his solo song "Skepta Interlude"
"We’re putting together an official worldwide BBK label. But we haven’t talked about how it’ll work yet. It’ll be separate to his existing contracts. - Skepta
Regardless if Drake is or not, Drake has performed with Skepta on stage, helped promote his album and has endlessly supported the grime artists' music career. Word is that they are planning to put together their own BBK Label, but nothing is set in stone yet. Drake has a comment to say about the matter at hand as well.
“We’re putting together an official worldwide BBK label,” he said, “but we haven’t talked about how it’ll work yet. It’ll be separate to his existing contracts. Trust me, I am not gonna sue Lil Wayne.”
Skepta has made huge moves, giving other artists in the UK a path to get recognition in the States, while also remaining relevant in the UK. Although Skepta might still be unknown to some in the States, he has definitely broken his way over the US market. He has sold over 1 million singles worldwide, as well as performing in festivals such as Coachella and Governor's Ball.
Rap and hip-hop fans in Canada and the States have definitely taken an interest in grime if they hadn't before, turning the London underground scene into an intriguing genre that keeps gaining more attention.