Hailing from Thornton Heath, London: Michael Owuo JR better know as Stormzy is a grime artist that has put the Genre of Grime Music on the map and in a big way. All the way up there with names like Skepta and Giggs, Stormzy is one of the trailblazers taking grime from the pirate radio stations and underground clubs in which it was born, out into the world at Large.
Stormzy started rapping at 11 years old at his local youth club where he would freestyle against the older kids who rapped and it stuck with him. Stormzy or Wicked Skengman as he calls himself started gaining recognition in the underground grime scene after the release of a series of freestyles titled Wickedskengman Parts 1 through till 4, with part being so fire that later he went straight to the booth and recorded a studio version, which has become today Stormzy’s highest charting single. With Stormzy’s recognition growing he released his first EP titled Dreamers Disease in 2014, independently i might add, and in that Same year he was awarded “Best Grime Act” at the 2014 and 2015 MOBO awards (Music of Black Origin) in the United Kingdom.
A very busy and successful 2 years followed for the Wicked Skengman, where in he released popular singles such as “Know Me From”, “Shut up”, and the official studio version of his “Wickedskengman” freestyle series.And just when it seems like things were slowing down, Stormzy performed his smash hit “Shut up” during Heavyweight boxing bigman Anthony Joshuas Ring-walk in December 2015 for his fight against Dillian Whyte.
After a years break from social media, Stomzy returned in February of 2017 with the very much anticipated release of his first studio album, which he titled Gang Signs & Prayer and was released on the 24th of Feb 2017. By the 3rd of March 2017 , Stormzy had made history, with his Album becoming the first Grime Album to ever make it to Number 1 on the UK Album Charts, and to have every single song from the album appear concurrently on the list, with 7 songs in the top 40.
Even though Stormzy was making history and taking grime all over the world, he wasnt quite done yet. On the 26 of September 2017 he released his biggest conceptual project to date in the form of a 15 minute visual experience that documents Stormzys upbringing and the trials, tribulations and consequences faced by young black men growing up in inner city London, loosely based on the life of the South London MC.
Written and directed by Rollo Jackson, this film was Shot all across London, with some parts being shot at the beautiful La Muralla Roja in Spain.This film beautifully intertwines narrative and performance with the story being segmented by snippets of Stormzy performing songs from his album directly to the camera accompanied by stunning visuals. This film is a visual representation of the story that unfolds throughout Stormzy’s album, and the songs that he used from his album to best accompany the breath taking visuals were “Return Of The Rucksack”,”Bad Boys”, “Mr Skeng” and “100 Bags”
“Young youts like myself, that grow up in the hood, we often don’t know that we are actually the masters of our own destiny,” Stormzy says of the film. “There are so many things that steer us in the wrong direction however, we decide what happens in our own lives and like my album, I endeavoured for this film to portray just that. Derived from my album Gang Signs & Prayer, and written and directed by the legend that is Rollo, I’ll let the visual do the talking.”
So how about you let the visuals speak for themselves and give the video a watch and let us know what you think.