“Skepta” Joseph Junior Adenuga is a popular Grime rapper, songwriter, record producer and music video director based in London and originating from Nigeria. He is one of Grime’s biggest artists whose most recent album Konnichiwa became the genre’s highest charting album, peaking at number 2 on the UK music charts. Konnichiwa was his fourth studio album and won the prestigious 2016 Mercury Prize as well as put him on numerous magazines’ list of influential people in the UK for his influence on contemporary British culture.
Despite the fact that he is based in London, Skepta has engaged Nigeria and the diaspora in multiple ways throughout his career. He has collaborated with multiple Nigerian artists, regularly promotes the culture in his videos and has been influential in the spread of the Afrobeats movement since its explosion via Wizkid’s Ojuelegba track and even had a part on the unofficial remix as well.
Skepta recently collaborated with Wizkid officially for the first time on the summer hit Bad Energy (Stay Far Away) which was produced by Sarz and shot in Nigeria. The single was a deviation from any of his releases at that time and was skewed more to the Afrobeats spectrum rather than the Grime Skepta is known for. The video perfectly fits the vibe of the song and showcases beautiful parts of Nigerian culture including the dances, traditional wear, beaches, fashion and youth.
The lyrics of the song also shows Skepta heavily representing Nigeria and Africa. He pays homage to Fela Kuti as he has done on Skepta’s interlude and some other songs via the lyrics: ‘Young Fela Kuti, the return of the rebel‘. He also alludes to his chieftaincy title “Amuludun” in his hometown of Odo-Aje in Ogun state saying:
Ay, they better get used to the flex
African man, you see the jewels on my neck
Skepta raps almost effortlessly, flexing multiple times in the song:
'm getting pounds in my sleep
I'm at the top of the mountain, it's peak...
Keep my shades on 'cause they tryna see the vision...
You heard I'm in the club, then my best advice
Is put your shoes on and come and get your wife
All in all, Skepta continues to represent Nigeria and the diaspora through his songs, bringing awareness to social issues & the culture, connecting Nigerian-based artists to global stars and also personally investing in ventures based in the country.