Album Review: Skepta 'Doin It Again'
After checking the post this morning, I was pretty excited to see a universal promo CD with the word ‘Skepta’ written on the front. That’s right, we’ve finally got a copy of Skepta’s forthcoming album ‘Doin It Again’ in our hands and can therefore give you guys the low down on what to expect!
The first track on the CD is entitled ‘Nobody Made Me,’ a fairly mellow grime track which could be likened to Kanye West’s earlier work. It certainly is catchy and although the riff is going round my head and everyone else’s here in the office, I feel it could have been used to greater effect if it had been put further down the tracklisting. Certainly a fine piece of music from Skepta though.
Track two, entitled ‘Rescue Me,’ is a dubstep influenced track with a powerful hook which works incredibly well with its deep bassline. When first released, this track did get some bad rap from a few people in the scene, especially those in the dubstep genre who felt that this track was Skepta’s way of jumping on the increasingly popular dubstep bandwagon. However, taking this track for what it is, it fits the bill for Skepta’s modern fanbase and when you ignore the snobbery the music scene can produce, this track does the job it sets out to do.
Another stand out track on the album is ‘Do It Like Me,’ which is, basically, four minutes and thirty-nine seconds of Skepta hitting out at the MCs in the game who think they can, as the title suggests, do it like him. The backing track conjures up images of grime back in the days before everyone had a Mac and top-end production software… that is until the chorus drops and a massive guitar-riff kicks in!
One of my favourite tracks on ‘Doin It Again,’ second only to the title track is ‘Cross My Heart,’ which features former Eastenders star Preeya Kalidas. I’ll be honest, I had this track sent to me a few months ago and it has been on my ‘driving CD’ since then. In my opinion, one of the best tracks to come out of the new wave of urban music in a while, ‘Cross My Heart’ takes Skepta right back to his roots, although to add to its commercial viability has a nice vocal hook coming from Preeya Kalidas. This may not be enough for the grime purists out there but, in my opinion, grime in its original form will never be able to reach the top of the charts again like 2004 track ‘Pow!’ did. For a compromise, I think ‘Cross My Heart’ is a banger!
And finally, my favourite and title track, ‘Doin It Again,’ finishes off the album in style, utilizing Skepta’s verse from the 2006 grime anthem ‘Duppy,’ as the chorus. As far as club bangers go, this certainly is not one. However, as an album track intended to be listened to at home or in the car, the track is a powerful, bass-heavy piece of music with a nostalgic chorus – something that a long-time grime fan like myself wants to hear. Throughout the track, Skepta talks about his loyalty to grime, the state of the modern grime scene and the fact that whether you like it or not, he ‘aint changing for anyone.
Among the tracks we didn’t mention were ‘So Alive,’ which features chart topping trio, N Dubz, which is scheduled for release alongside the album and ‘So Big,’ which features another of the UK’s finest talents, Chipmunk. Another track which has had Twitter pinging with #tags is ‘Mike Lowery,’ Skepta’s ode to Will Smith’s character in the film ‘Bad Boys.’ The instrumental has been flying around for a while now, resulting in a swathe of remixes from MCs such as Jammer, D Power, Fumin’ and even UK Hip Hop MC, Genesis Elijah.
Overall, ‘Doin It Again’ does not disappoint. Although most of the tracks on the CD are around 140bpm, Skepta has managed to create a wealth of diverse music with tracks for every occasion and mood. Having featured on the first ever MOBO tour last year alongside Scorcher, Donaeo, Maverick Sabre and others, Skepta is an artist whom we at MOBO are tipping for big things this year!
‘Doin’ It Again’ is scheduled for release on the 31st of January, along with the single ‘So Alive’ Featuring N Dubz. To pre-order now on iTunes Click Here!
Words: Mike Wooller