Stormzy — Gang Signs & Prayer
Arguably the most anticipated grime album ever, and definitely one of the most anticipated across all genres for the last couple of years. Stormzy is by no means a newcomer to the grime scene, but his ascension to fame felt like it came overnight. But there are plenty better qualified people to tell you the story of Stormzy, so let’s get on with the album.
The album starts with a bold statement of a track, First Things First is Stormzy addressing some of the beef’s that have surfaced since his rise to fame and his current situation. It’s clear that although Stormzy has skyrocketed upwards he still remains down to the street and isn’t turning away from the culture that raised him.
Big For Your Boots was the first album to be released, coming as a preview for the album. The track continues this theme of Stormzy still being the same man as he was before he reached the top 10. The instrumental of the song is a homage to the old school grime tracks that Stormzy used to rap over as he was starting his career.
Stormzy told us that this album was a work of art that he had put his heart into and after listening to 21 Gun Salute and Blinded By Your Grace, Pt 2 back to back, it shows. Both songs take a more melodic tone to his previous work and feature Michael himself singing. After a quick break back to the grime, he comes back with 100 Bags, a track dedicated to his mother and their struggles as he was growing up. The instrumental of this song takes it back to the melodic theme we heard earlier, coming on much softer than your traditional grime.
The song that skyrocketed him to international fame is featured at the end of the album, including Shut Up in his debut album will preserve it forever as the track that gave Stormzy the recognition he deserved.
In my opinion the album definitely lives up to the quality we have come to respect from Stormzy. It is an almost perfect debut album, it sets the tone for Stormzy’s own personal style and has given him the opportunity to address all the problems he has faced over the years. Most importantly it leaves you wanting more, he could have called in all the top grime MC’s and producers to feature on his debut album but this was his album, the collaborations can come in the future, but this release was all about Michael. He’s already reached international fame and crossed the border into the USA, I think Stormzy will be the artist who finally takes grime to the international level.