As ever we’re opening the week by providing you a soundtrack to live the next seven days to. And last week provided some great new music to wrap your ears around.
Oscar #Worldpeace came through with his debut project, Recluse, a brilliantly concise and relatable project that we’d implore you to spend some time with. Then there were a bunch of huge club tracks, from Steel Banglez’ ‘Money’ to Tonga Balloon Gang‘s ‘Pattern Up’, plus massive remixes to D Double E‘s ‘How I Like It’ and Kamakaze‘s ‘Pull Ups’.
And if you find yourself needing to chill out, jump to the end of the playlist, where we’ve got selections from J. Cole‘s new signee J.I.D, Frank Ocean, Future, Mabel and Jorja Smith.
After breaking UK streaming records and hitting the number one spot with his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer, Stormzy has now reached Gold Status – selling over 100,000 copies – in just over two weeks.
To celebrate, the South Londoner has unleashed the video for his Swifta Beater-produced banger ‘Cold.’ The Floyd Sorietu-directed clip sees Stormz inducing a temperature drop, while ambitious youngsters envision themselves as kings, doctors, footballers and moguls.
Stormzy had an incredible first week, managing to grasp the number one spot for the first time in Grime history with Gang Signs and Prayer. The album also did some mind-blowing streaming numbers, with the most first-week streams for a No. 1 album in UK chart history, beating out the likes of Drake and Justin Bieber.
Across the Atlantic another RWD Mag favourite was making history, when Future became the first artist to debut two albums at number one in back-to-back weeks with FUTURE and HNDRXX.
Soundtrack your week with selections from all of those albums, as well as tracks from J HUS, Jammz, Skepta, GoldLink, Brent Faiyaz, Jefe, Young T & Bugsey, Snowy, Cadenza, President T, Preditah, C4, Cadence Weapon, Migos and 2 Chainz.
Sunday night saw Stormzy visit Sir Spyro on Rinse FM, discussing their collaborations on Gang Signs & Prayer – ‘Big For Your Boots’, ‘Return of the Rucksack’, ‘Mr Skeng’ as well as some of the other tracks on the album. To close the show, Spyro jumped on the decks and Stormzy sprayed live for half an hour. He was not alone though, bringing Midlands trio Izzie Gibbs, Jaykae and Dapz On The Map along for the set. Audio had been available for free download since yesterday but now Rinse has uploaded highlights of the set, which was live streamed on Facebook, on their YouTube channel.
Spyro is on Rinse every Sunday night 9-11pm | Gang Signs & Prayer is out now
It was an inevitably mad weekend of promo from Stormzy following the release of his long awaited debut album Gang Signs & Prayer. On Friday, there were three surprise performances across London, popping up in Camden (above), Piccadilly and his hometown of Croydon with the help of Red Bull. The latter was a longer set at Boxpark Croydon, with hundreds in attendance at just an hour or so’s notice. See photos at the foot of this page.
Yesterday, there was a live television appearance on Sunday Brunch, in which his girlfriend tried to phone him during the show, before a host of radio appearances. There was also a broadcast visit to Manny Norte on Capital XTRA, an interview with Rude Kid on KISS and a live session on Rinse FM’s Grime Show with Sir Spyro, who of course produced ‘Scary’, ‘Big 4 Your Boots’, ‘Mr Skeng’ and ‘Return of the Rucksack’. Stormzy invited Izzie Gibbs, Jaykae and Dapz On The Map to spray bars with him for the last quarter of the show including, obviously, his ‘Mr Skeng’ bars about not needing to do radio. Look out for video highlights of the Rinse set soon, but enjoy the audio below in the meantime (set starts at 1hr 31mins).
Last but not least, towards the end of Sunday evening Stormzy tweeted the music video for GSAP opener ‘First Things First’ (above), with kaylum Dennis directing an all-black, rainy visual as Big Mikey goes in on DSTRKT, LBC & co.
(Photo by Samir Hussein, Red Bull Content Pool)
Last three Photos by Ashley Verse, Red Bull Content Pool
We’ll just come out with it. Last week was the most exciting week of new music that we’ve had for months now. If we could have a few more like that then 2017 will shape up to be a very fruitful year.
Stormzy proved his status as Neo on the long-awaited debut album Gang Signs & Prayer. Future took it back to promethazine melodies on his most versatile project in years HNDRXX. Thundercat dropped a timely new body of work on the struggles of living life with Drunk. Calvin Harris hooked up with Frank Ocean and Migos for ‘Slide’, an early grab for song of the Summer.
Soundtrack your week with selections from all of those, as well as tracks from Gucci Mane, Nicki Minaj, THEY., 6LACK, Jhené Aiko, Steve Lacy, J.I.D, Belly, NAV, Kodak Black, SahBabii, Stefflon Don, Manga Saint Hilare, Ghstly XXVII, D Double E and Cadenza.
Stormzy proves he’s Grime’s Neo on his anticipated debut album Gang Signs & Prayer, demonstrating his diversity as he takes the listener on a musical journey through straight grime bangers to gospel and R&B.
The long=-awaited 16 track LP certainly delivers on quality, as Stormzy demonstrates the breadth of what an independent MC can achieve in 2017, enlisting the likes of Ghetts, J Hus, Kehlani, Wretch 32, MNEK, Raleigh Ritchie and Crazy Titch to contribute to his first full length artistic statement.
This is one that we’re going to be talking about for a while.
As if their line-up wasn’t good enough already this year, today Manchester’s Parklife festival have announced that Stormzy will be joining festivities this year off the back of his Gang Signs & Prayer album, which finally drops tomorrow.
The Wicked Skengman will be joining the likes of Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest and Boy Better Know when Parklife takes over Heaton Park on 10th and 11th of June with one of the year’s strongest festival line-ups.