The Rise Of Skepta

Skepta, whose original name is Joseph Junior Adenuga was born to Nigerian parents in the year 1982. He was originally a DJ of the Meridian Crew and later became a song writer, English Grime artist and producer of albums. During the earlier days of his career he released quite a few instrumentals including “DTI” and “Private Caller”. The Meridian Crew was disbanded in 2005 by which time he was in MC also. As a record-owner, Joseph Adenuga played an active role in the commercial resurgence of Grime and also its shift to the pop charts. He was influenced by the US as well as UK hip hop and he started his music career by participating in various MC battles and also performing on the pirate radio circuit. In 2005, Joseph Adenuga joined Roll Deep along with his brother JME and in 2006 formed his Grime label “Boy Better Know”. His debut studio album, ‘Greatest Hits’ was released in 2007. ‘Microphone Champion’ was released in 2009 and ‘Doin’ It Again’ was released in 2011. 

 “Joseph Junior Adenuga” was a mixtape of Skepta which he released after his clash with his fellow MC Devilman in connection with the DVD Lord of Mics 2. The clash between Adenuga and Devilman is considered as a major event in the grime history. Adenuga left Roll Deep within a year of joining in order to concentrate on Boy Better Known. In the year 2010 he signed with All Around the World Records also. “Bad Boy” and “Rescue Me” made him to reach the Top 40. The Twitter followers of Adenuga recommended him to P.Diddy for the recording of the Grime remix “Hello Good Morning”. Adenuga supported Chipmunk when he toured UK and in 2011 he released his third album Doin’ It Again in which the Top 40 charting single ‘Cross My Heart’ was featured. Shortly after that the album peaked at number 19 on the UK album chart. 

Skepta suffered a career setback in the year 2012. As the lead off singles to an album with the title ‘The Honeymoon’ he released the two singles – “Hold On” and “Make Peace Not War”. However, since it was found too commercial, the response from his fans was very disappointing and finally he decided to scrap the album. Instead, he released a mixtape under the title ‘Blacklisted’. For the next one year, Adenuga remained silent and in the following year he came back in a big way. In 2014, the remix of “German Whip” by Meridian Dan became a Top 20 hit and the verse for which was contributed by Adenuga. The single of Adenuga, “That’s Not Me” became number 21 on the charts. In 2015, he released his single “Shutdown” which was a Top 40 hit in UK. “Shutdown” was appreciated by Drake and Kanye West and during the BRIT Awards, Joseph Adenuga joined Kanye West on the stage. 

In the year 2015, Skepta acted in the crime-drama, ‘Anti-Social’ and in 2016 he was able to release his long-awaited album Konnichiwa. This album was released by BBK and in addition to his previous two singles, the album featured the guest appearances of Wiley, Pharell Williams and Novelist. This album became number 2 on the British charts and earned the prestigious Mercury Prize. Grime is a popular music genre of London which is greatly influenced by hip hop, drum-n-brass and various other sounds. Skepta got the recognition as a pioneer of this music genre. Joseph Adenuga is not as popular in US as he is in UK. 

Adenuga began his music career as a DJ and then started rapping. He released three albums under the BBK label. He is also gaining popularity in US. His performance of “All Day” at the BRIT Awards along with the great rappers Drake and Kanye West was watched curiously by the Americans. Kanye West joined on the stage the entourage of grime artists that comprised of Skepta and his BBK associate Jammer. He also attended the Adidas fashion show in NYC which was organized by Kanye West. We expect to see big things coming from him in the future.

MusicJoseph AinaSkepta, Grime, BBK