Skepta is a British rapper, songwriter, and record producer who won the Mercury Prize for his fourth album, Konnichiwa.
Joseph Junior Adenuga was born in Tottenham, North London on 19th of September 1982. Growing up he was influenced by both UK and US hip hop.
Skepta started his career on pirate radio stations and later founded his own record label called Boy Better Know. In 2007 he joined the rap collective Roll Deep but left a year later to focus on his own career. Under his label, Skepta released the debut album Greatest Hits and Microphone Champion. In 2010 he was signed to All Around the World Records and released the singles Bad Boy and Rescue Me.
Both songs reached the Top 40 at number 26 and number 14. The rapper supported Chipmunk on his UK tour and worked with P. Diddy. In 2011, he released a third LP Doin’ It Again and the lead single Cross My Heart which reached number 19 on the UK Album chart. The following year he issued two singles that were intended to be as mainstream as his next album, The Honeymoon. However, his fans were unimpressed and the project was canceled. Instead, Skepta issued a mixtape named Blacklisted and took a break in 2013. In 2014 he collaborated on Meridian Dan’s German Whip which was a Top 20 hit. His own single That’s Not Me was at number 21 on the charts and was praised for its grime style authenticity. A year later, followed another hit, Shutdown, which got the attention of rappers like Drake and Kanye West. Skepta performed at the BRIT Awards with Kanye West. His next album Konnichiwa was released in 2016 under his own label. The LP was a success as it debuted at number 2, received critical acclaim and won a Mercury Prize. In 2017, he embarked on a tour in the US and Europe called Banned From America.
Photo credit: BFNN