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Gang Signs & Prayer

by Stormzy - Sold by Dodax
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Stormzy Gang Signs & Prayer
Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer
Stormzy - Gang Signs & Prayer

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Tracklist

CD 1

1)

First Things First Stormzy

2)

Cold Stormzy

3)

Bad Boys (feat. Ghetts and J Hus) Stormzy

4)

Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 1 Stormzy

5)

Big For Your Boots Stormzy

6)

Velvet / Jenny Francis (Interlude) Stormzy

7)

Mr Skeng Stormzy

8)

Cigarettes & Cush (feat. Kehlani) Stormzy

9)

21 Gun Salute (feat. Wretch 32) [Interlude] Stormzy

10)

Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 2 (feat. MNEK) Stormzy

11)

Return Of The Rucksack Stormzy

12)

100 Bags Stormzy

13)

Don't Cry For Me (feat. Raleigh Ritchie) Stormzy

14)

Crazy Titch (Interlude) Stormzy

15)

Shut Up Stormzy

16)

Lay Me Bare Stormzy

Review

For all the talk of new wave grime artists, Stormzy has long been standing head and shoulders -- literally and figuratively -- above his peers. Whether you agree or not with the term "new wave," it's arguably irrelevant to Michael Omari, who, on his debut album, continues to ascend the sometimes restrictive nature of the genre. The opening tracks feature plenty of the characteristic chest puffing and hostility associated with grime, ticking boxes such as declaring the hard work put in on "First Things First," an Eskibeat homage titled "Cold," and features from heavy-hitters Ghetts and J HUS on "Bad Boys." But as Gang Signs & Prayer unfolds, a lot of the bravado falls away, revealing Omari's inner workings, his roots, and his desire to elevate grime to the next level. "Blinded by Your Grace, Pt. 1" is the first sign that this isn't your typical grime album, offering a touch of gospel and a respite to the proceedings. Whereas Omari has turned his hand to slower numbers in the past -- notably on his 2014 EP Dreamers Disease -- here his singing and the accompanying backing piano feel impassioned and organic.
The album continues to shift, gradually at first, with harder tracks alternating with R&B or gospel numbers; by the halfway point, "Cigarettes & Kush," mellow vibes dominate the record. The refusal to pack the track list with bangers is the differentiating factor between Stormzy the grime MC and Stormzy the artist, elegantly showcasing that grime doesn't have to play by the rules, and that artists can express themselves outside of boasting and smack talk, acting as ammo for the argument that diversity and creativity are still prevalent in the scene.
The guest spots featured in the latter half of the album are perfectly chosen, with appearances from Kehlani, Wretch 32, MNEK, and Raleigh Ritchie, who all act as counterweights to Omari's deeper tones. Conversely, one of the most touching moments doesn't feature any names; instead, "100 Bags" finds Omari sharing an open letter to his mum, apologizing for past actions that wouldn't have made her proud, and promising to look after her as thanks for raising him alone. During the album's final interlude, Omari's phone rings in the booth, and on the other end is old-era MC Crazy Titch. He's calling from prison -- as he's still serving a life sentence for murder -- just to drop his endorsement: it provides a perfect summation of Stormzy the artist, in the process calling out any MCs from his generation who impose boundaries on grime. Directly afterward, Gang Signs & Prayer hits you with Stormzy's breaking track "Shut Up," reminding haters to hush; quite rightly as "Shut Up" is easily one of the biggest grime tracks in recent years. It's a bold move to go against the grain in a genre where adherence to style can equal respect, but Stormzy's ambition exceeds potential judgment from purists. He's more concerned with expressing himself and adapting to survive, so that he can express further for years to come. ~ Liam Martin

Contributors

Artist Stormzy

Label #Merky Records

Product Features

Features ImportCDs Gangs Signs & Prayer. Genre: R&B, Media type: CD, Distribution type: Physical media. Package type: Jewel case

Product Details

DUIN RIQA6DR7M6P

GTIN 0190296979279

Release Date 24.02.2017

Amount of Discs 1

Product type CD

Track Count 16

Manufacturer Part Number 9029697927

$10.91
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