UK Video Of The Week: Skepta – ‘Ace Hood Flow’

By Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson

Artist Name: Skepta
Location: London, UK
Musical Style: The bad boy of grime.

He started out as a DJ, then he became a producer, but Skepta’s contribution to MCing will go down in grime history as his most valued effort. Born Joseph Junior Adenuga, the north London-raised MC has worked his way through the underground music ranks – from being a member of the now-defunct Meridian Crew, and spitting on tracks with Roll Deep – to now being known as one of the grime scene’s masters, alongside his former mentor, Wiley.

In 2005, Skepta and his younger brother, JME, created the Boy Better Know label, distributing mixtapes for themselves, Frisco, Tinchy Stryder and the aforementioned Wiley. Seven years later and it’s safe to say that the BBK brand is still strong. Skepta also has a few things of his own to be proud of, such as featuring on a track with Diddy (Hello Good Morning Remix), selling his “Dare to Dream” song to Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine for Eminem, signing a four-year album deal with Island Records, and working closely with the infamous DJ Whoo Kid on the now-classic mixtape, Community Payback.

With three well-received albums – Greatest Hits, Microphone Champion and Doin’ It Again – already under his belt, Skepta has set himself up nicely for his fourth LP, The Honeymoon. I received a lot of backlash when I appeared as a panelist on last year’s Best Of The Best: UK MCs TV show and said that “Skepta hasn’t found his mainstream sound yet.” At the time, I just didn’t feel that what he was putting out there was a true representation of himself. But I have since eaten my words.

This week’s “UK Video Of The Week” comes from Skepta, with “Ace Hood Flow.” In the no-fuss video, he shares his very honest thoughts on the current state of lyricism in the UK, claiming that there are too many lazy and unauthentic up-and-coming artists who think that by dropping a video or two, they instantly become scene-stars. Skepta spits: “I’ve been keeping my ear to the streets/The UK’s run out of ideas, everyone’s doing covers of American beats/If it’s not the Ace Hood, Hustle Hard flow then it all sounds like Rick Ross to me/This is the shit I’m supposed to respect? F— that, n—a! S.M.D…”

Hear, hear.

RapFix’s “UK Video Of The Week” is a weekly column by UK-based music journalist, Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson, designed to give us a closer look at hip-hop across the pond. Stay tuned.