Skepta – Doin’ It Again | Album Review

Even for a proclamation as bold as ‘King of Grime’, Joseph ‘Skepta’ Adenuga has a number of points which could justify his claims to the crown. A number of years in the scene, member of Boy Better Know and affiliate of Roll Deep and, to top it off, having Diddy summon him to jump on a 140 version of Diddy Dirty Money’s ‘Hello Good Morning’ are just some standout moments for North London’s towering star.

Now with major financial backing, has Grime’s champion dropped a cataclysmic bomb in the form of a successful crossover album which still appeals to Grime heads?

Far from a shy, retiring type, Skepta bellows out a clear statement of intent on ‘Nobody Made Me’, describing his ascension to becoming the sought-after rapper he is now. Skepta’s commanding vocals are a strong attribute of his and his clear, concise delivery (in comparison to the overused rapid fire flow of many) is much welcomed.

For Grime heads wondering whether the BBK member’s album would remain loyal to the 140 sound, the answer is no. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean tracks on Doin’ It Again’ aren’t filled with an edge and venom the scene chases. The emphatic drop on ‘Rescue Me’ could easily create anarchy in a rave (regardless of its heavy dance influence) whilst ‘Amnesia,’ lyrically and musically, encapsulates the euphoric-turned-heavy-hangover nights out in Malia, Ibiza and such party places.

The biggest highlight undoubtedly comes when Skepta teams up with Hip Hop legend and mogul Diddy for the official grime remix of ‘Hello, Good Morning’. Slickly going line for line with the Bad Boy supremo, Skeppy gives a memorable performance which will stand among one of the greatest moments in the scene’s ever-growing history. Skepta provides a clear narrative throughout the LP; from standing up tall against the haters alongside N Dubz on ‘So Alive’ to reflecting on ungrateful partners on ‘Taking Too Long’.

Whilst mainstream appeal is seemingly the aim on Skepta’s album, some of the material is watered down to the point that any appeal is lost; ‘Amnesia’ and Rescue Me’ both work because they hold on to influences from grime and dance music, whereas ‘Cross My Heart’ and ‘Bad Boy’ are lukewarm offerings of crossover urban pop.

But amidst the machismo and scorning, Skepta teams up with Chipmunk to produce a reflective gem on ‘Big’ in which its eerie, shadow-like production is the perfect canvas for the two North London talents to air the burdens they carry all for the price of fame.

Skepta’s legacy within grime will always be held in high regard and his first release away from the sound is a satisfactory result. Stirring up grime, dance music and some elements of Hip Hop into one distinguishable sound, Skepta’s rugged narrations and punchlines beef up the eclectic productions on offer.

Another album which is defined by the current musical trend, Doin It Again’ is an ideal album to welcome a wider audience to Skepta’s product and will give the ever working MC enough leg room to make a lasting impression on the charts, radio airplay and beyond.

Doin’ It Again is out now via Boy Better Know/All Around The World; iTunes / Amazon.