Tottenham MC Skepta had his big break stateside within the past couple of years, thanks to key co-signs from Drake, Kanye West, and A$AP Mob, as well as his most popular album to date, but he’s far from a rookie in the UK’s grime scene. Since 2006, he’s released five mixtapes and four albums, all (save for one, 2011’s maligned pop crossover attempt Doin’ It Again) on his own label, Boy Better Know. He’s seen the scene’s rise, fall, and second coming, the last of which has seen him at the forefront, leading the movement overseas.
Last year’s Konnichiwa rode the coattails of hit singles “That’s Not Me” and “Shutdown,” and was Skepta’s biggest success to date, hitting number two on the UK album chart, going gold, and winning the country’s prestigious Mercury Prize. Aside from a few loosies and features (including an entire interlude of his own on Drake’s More Life), Skepta has been light on new music since dropping his fourth album last May, but last night he surprised us with a new cut entitled “Hypocrisy.”
A fitting title for a song by a guy whose name is based off of the word “skeptical,” the new track is a self-produced banger focused on people who, to borrow a phrase from the O’Jays, smile in your face, but want to take your place. Skepta raps, “See, I had to realize slowly/That nobody actually knows me,” speaking to the buddy-buddy yes-men with hidden motives that celebrity status often attracts.
It’s a fitting track for an MC who’s spent his last year and change getting unprecedented recognition, a shift in fortunes that probably took a while to process. Today though, Skepta’s declining “amazing dinners,” putting “fakes” in chokeholds, getting back money that he invested, and above all, shitting and pissing on this hypocrisy.
There’s no word of a Konnichiwa follow-up yet, but don’t be surprised if Skepta, now returned from his international victory lap, is currently hard at work on one.