Stormzy threw a forecast out on ‘Scary’ in April last year when he said “I’m going away for a bit, when I’m back nobody’s saying my name on a track”. Big Mike withdrew from social media for several months; 9 to be exact and we knew, we knew he was in album mode.
His journey thus far, consistently accelerating since his days of freestyling in the park, seemed to be coming to a climax. After the self-proclaimed hiatus, even the BBC got in on the hype, breaking the news that a Stormzy was coming. Appearances of billboards across London simply stated -“Aint dropped nothing for a minute, I’m fine,”, whilst other billboards gave a glimpse of lyrics from his highly anticipated debut #GSAP. It was the album title that had everyone in a frenzy questioning every angle and trying to figure out the acronym.
#GSAP had several possible variation’s, and Big Mike told Julie Adenuga on Beats 1 that ‘God Sent A Problem’ although a good one was predictable. Although Stormzy hadn’t expected the hashtag to draw so much speculation, still no one managed to guess the final revelation – ‘Gang Signs and Prayer.’
The album cover, his interpretation of The Last Supper, is loaded in symbolism. The truest testament of an artist’s perception of their times ultimately lives longer on their visual and vocal depiction, especially when it’s on a record. While Stormzy’s always been vocal on social media, with the album tracklisting giving little away, the lyrics will now be doing his talking. Executive produced by Fraser T Smith, the album features include J Hus, Ghetts, MNEK, Kehlani, Wretch 32, and Raleigh Ritchie. Plus noteworthy are interludes with the likes of Crazy Titch, and Jenny Francis (seeing this alone on the track listing is legendary cos if you know you know). Citing “I had a choice to make the album that I wanted or make the album that I feel people wanted me to make” – either way, the anticipation for his debut project has built up quite a storm.
The first single ‘Big For Your Boots’ produced by none other than Grime’s man of the moment Sir Spyro Stormzy, was chosen by Stormzy as a symbol of the path he’s on – doing him, uncompromisingly. Directed by DAPs (Migos) the video opens in an estate in London with Stormzy surrounded by some of the leading women in the Grime scene with cameos from Julie Adenuga, Maya Jama, Ray BLK, A.Dot and more. Clocking almost 500K views so far on his video, and with a full marketing campaign in full swing, in a matter of 24 hours Stormzy is back to dominating social media with his commanding presence.
‘Gang Signs and Prayer’ drops 24th February and ‘Big For Your Boots’ is available for pre-order now with exclusive access to upcoming Stormzy’s forthcoming tour.