The emergence of Stormzy a few years ago was a rare sight in the grime scene at the time. While many other names have followed in the buzz in which he created, he was one of the very few newcomers to rise in an environment that was still heavily dominated by more established names. But after a couple of years of nothing but upward ascent since his highly praised debut album 'Gang Signs & Prayers', the rapper has returned with his sophomore LP 'Heavy Is The Head', a release that feels far more assured and confident than his initial release.
With 'Gang Signs & Prayers', it felt like he was just throwing stuff together in order to create a studio album that reflected the previous few years in his creation and ended up feeling more disjointed than it should have. But with 'Heavy Is The Head', he has created all of this new music in the same headspace, giving us a far more cohesive and succinct collection in the process. While the production may have a diverse approach, the message and tone of this record remains very much on the same path, allowing us to really understand his state of mind right now as he looks to make something more than just about himself.
Political, poignant and most importantly relevant, 'Heavy Is The Head' is likely to go down as one of the best UK rap albums of the last decade. Although it feels very much like a time capsule with its topics, right now we are all feeling what Stormzy is feeling, and that makes for a very powerful return.