Konnichiwa, the 2016 instant hit was a cultural phenomenon that bridged the gap between American rap and the British grime from the streets to the clubs. Skepta is a walking grease “greaze” gun in this case with witty lyrical ability, an outstanding and recognizable producing credit, and an approachable smirk to his newest record Ignorance Is Bliss.
Each track as it floods beginning with either “Bullet From A Gun” to the last track that was the previously released “Pure Water” single, Skepta finds a perfect balance between the hard body performances that make mosh pits and bouncing occur. To the introverted reflections where Skepta is more of a descriptive narrator toward his own outlook on the record. Here, Ignorance Is Bliss was on the backburner for any fan that quickly bumped Skepta up to a top spot in their playlists, always watching to see what was next for the London born rhymer and artist.
Visually stimulating from the vivid, 3×3 thermal grid, each track acts as a piece of this overarching method where Skepta holds the keys behind its truth. Each photograph is a different mood of Ignorance Is Bliss where “Redrum” is the first track that acts as a tank shell in the mix. The hook is a right-hand slap to the eye where Skepta explains, “If I pull up on the strip, it’s murder. Pull up in the whip, it’s murder. Pull up on your chick, it’s murder. Pull up with a stick, it’s murder.” There is this boosting 808 that marks iconic grime styles of production that can tightrope between the synthetic instruments and the bold vocals from both Skepta and KEY!. As the verses begin to trade off, it is apparent that Ignorance Is Bliss will hold some sense of teeth baring.
However, on the opening track “Bullet From A Gun” where the production is a floating and almost watery organization, Skepta rhymes to become less aggressive and more of a tragic hero. “Like a bullet from a gun it burns, when you realize she was never your girl it was just your turn,” describes Skepta in this illustrative and almost shattered opening. He is both hopeful but also relatively similar to his opening on Konnichiwa where he both discusses the success he has seen, but also the immense pain that hits and comes with that life outside of camera flashes. Alternatively, he finally describes, “you got to face your demons don’t matter how much money you earn… The same old story, the world spins ‘round and ‘round fam, lessons have to get learned.”
In another piece, Skepta uses the track “Animal Instinct” to flex for one last time with one of the best bass drops and longest running rhyming teases since “Shoota” by Playboi Carti. Where he stirs up the lines, “But I’m in Paris with the goons, I should take a selfie and go and hang it in the Louvre. And that’s why they wanna start beef, cause the gang came in lookin’ like an art piece, made your wifey skip a heartbeat.” Always ready to go to war with words and perhaps pistols too, Skepta capitalizes on what makes his character so engaging on Ignorance Is Bliss.
Sculpting a world of once sand castles to now marble statues in the courtyard, Skepta is a cultural beast that moves his own pace in a blacked-out tinted Spitfire. As Ignorance Is Bliss becomes this internal war that hits both mountains and valleys, Skepta reminds his audience why he is flying SK Air.