You’re the most popular rapper in your country at the moment. The problem is that you live in England and you’re making Grime, the notable little brother of American hip-hop which makes it very hard to make a mark in the prominent hip-hop market. The good news is you’ve been cosigned by Drake, in fact he just signed to your label. Better yet you’ve been cosigned by Kanye, and you and 40 friends mobbed out at his show complete with flamethrowers and an awkward Taylor Swift dance. So people are listening, what are you going to do on your new single from your forthcoming album? You’re going to snap on it of course, and that it is exactly how Skepta’s past few months have played out, including his new single “Man”.
Skepta wastes no time getting down to brass tacks on this track. He’s not trying to do anything but deliver some bars with a distinctly English flair here and that’s all he has to do. This is pure, raw Grime that comes complete with a cold, throaty flow reminiscent of Boy In Da Corner Dizzee Rascal and a Hip-Hop-meets-House beat supposedly backed with a Queens of the Stone Age sample. It’s tracks like this that really make you wonder why UK hip-hop is mostly ignored because stylistically it’s not much different than what anyone else has been doing in American hip-hop. He talks down on posers that want a picture with him just for a couple Instagram likes and kills each bar he drops. But it’s so refreshing compared to your average swag rapper you’ve come to expect. The emphasis on the English accent and the electronic House marks on the beat make it so distinct. Skepta makes it loud and clear he’s here to be one of your new favorite rappers, but he’s bringing the rest of the UK with him and you’re just going to have to deal with it.