It’s finally here! The most anticipated artist of the year is finally back with his latest single from album Gang Signs & Prayer, Big for your Boots. Stormzy, who took his name quite literally and took the nation by a storm last night dropped his single from the album which already has hit 309,562 views and the 4th trending topic on Twitter, you can already tell February will be a big month for Stormzy as an artist and as a representative of grime music.
The beginning of the song reminiscence one of the most iconic grime songs by pioneer Dizzee Rascal I Luv U with garage-esque female vocals, reminiscing his days of hustling the roads as he mentions the song being deer to him in Know Me From and even sampled the vocals. The song has a gospel beat remixed into the beat, something I have concluded is pretty much the sound of Stormzy. Clear flows throughout the song, Stormzy’s ability to rap fluently and allow the bars and the music intertwine wholly depicts his sheer talent and passion for what he does. The bars itself speak for those who doubt Stormzy’s friendly-image as weakness. The hook consists of the bars “you’re getting way too big for your boots / you’re never too big for the boot” implying that if you don’t know your place when addressed, you’re more than likely to get an ass-kicking. Throughout the songs he implies that he hasn’t had a flashy life-style most rappers portray in their songs, and that even if someone came mugged him he’ll still be harder than them. Stormzy mentions other artists in the song such as Adele, which everyone knows as potentially the best soul and pop artist in the UK, who Stormzy respects massively. He mentions his pal Krept from Krept & Konan as a play on words with the bar “I was covering Krept like a bootcut.” Kreps is a slang term for trainers in London, and bootcuts are the ugliest jeans you could have ever owned in the mid-2000s, wearing them in the streets could potentially kill your reputation and cause a lot of embarrassment for you. The play-on-words works out that when Krept & Konan were out in the States for the BETs, he was maintaining the music scene out here in the UK.
The visuals for the song distinctly show how Stormzy wanted to make the song very personal. If you have been following Stormzy throughout his growth in his career, you’ll notice he had included his day ones, like Flipz who attends most of the events he goes to. He includes radio DJ girlfriend Maya Jama, at Morley’s chicken shop, notoriously known among South Londoners as the best chicken shop in south, but they really mean around the whole of London. He also includes London-based young professionals such as Vicky Grout (grime photographer), Gracie Francesca (life-style blogger) and Ray BLK (singer) to name a few. Stormzy presents some of the greatest professionals that London has produced, celebrating the cities rich culture that is not usually praised. Its the culture that isn’t a landmark, it is true and raw talent coming from real people who have lived in London.
The director, Daps, films in various locations in London which shows the contrast of London which only people who live here would understand. Scenes filming outside an estate with council houses to Westminster Bridge, which is your typical touristic eye of London. Through Westminster Bridge, Stormzy raps on top of a police car as it’s driving through the central. Its a paradoxical symbolism as it embraces the institutionalised racism towards police men and young black people as there is constant antagonism between young black men in particular in London with police men. Stormzy is very open about discrimination with certain people being racist towards him, and isn’t scared to call them out. The symbolism correlates the #BlackLivesMatter movement in America, although it is overseas, it’s very much an issue in the UK too with the 2011 riots starting from the shooting of Mark Duggan. The last scene with Stormzy against a group of white men could be seen as a potential hate crime, seeing as the video is very much not only a personal video, but can also be interpreted as a political message with the subliminal messages.
I reckon February will be a big month for Stormzy this year, the break from his 9-month-silence has definitely not led us to completely forget about his existence, 2017 is looking big for the grime star.
Let me know what your thoughts were in the comment section!