On an unexpectedly momentous Sunday in which Dizzee Rascal and Wiley re-ignited their long-standing feud, Stormzy has weighed in as a fellow lynchpin of the Grime scene. “I’ll phone my brudda’s phone before I say it all on twitter”, says Stormzy. The timing of this lyric and the clarity of it suggests he would rather settle his disputes behind the scenes instead of in the public eye. And that is not the only way in which Stormzy differs from his predecessors. “It’s the major that the majors wanna sign”. Stormzy has steamrollered his way to the frontier of the music industry without being under the auspices of an established label. This unprecedented feat has been largely due to his innovative use of social media together with his unique persona as an artist.
“I know the game, I know to them I’m just a n****”. To quote J. Cole, Stormzy has shown that he must “play the game to change the game”. His PR team have adroitly navigated their way to appearances at Oxford University, chat shows and onto magazine covers. Despite this, Stormzy has never had to sacrifice his artistic integrity in a beguiling attempt to garner mainstream attention which is also what sets him apart. The fact that it has come naturally yet strategically is a sign that he is a force to be reckoned with. “I am not prepared to be a snake to get my spot”. Stormzy is currently bridging the pivotal phase before he changes the game for the better. He possesses the versatility, mass appeal, social consciousness and integrity that are so rarely found all rolled into one. Furthermore, he has been outspoken on contemporary issues such as with his tweet about Notting Hill Carnival.
“Nothing was the same since my fire in the booth”; tThe allusion to Drake cannot go unmentioned. Drake has recently strengthened his UK fanbase by co-signing many of our artists with Stormzy being the most notable omission. But instead of milking a transatlantic collaboration, Stormzy opts to salute his home-grown power circle by name-dropping Lethal Bizzle and referencing J Hus. All in all, Stormzy has flipped ‘4pm in Calabasas’ from a scenic cruise in an affluent neighbourhood into a minimalist hard-hitting freestyle which is nothing short of sheer genius. You can listen to the song in full below.