On February 24, UK emcee Stormzy released his debut Gang Signs & Prayer. Today, the project became the first independently-released grime album to top the charts in the UK, selling 69k equivalent units. According to The FADER, the album also broke the UK record for the most first-week streams, a record that previously belonged to Drake's Views.
Stormzy's impact stateside has, thus far, been minimal, but his impact in his home country England cannot be denied.
Grime, much like hip-hop, is soaked in a bravado that makes discussing topics like mental health unpopular, but now more than ever before, artists are seemingly unafraid to open up to their fans about their struggles with depression and drug use.
Following in the footsteps Isaiah Rashad, Kid Cudi, Syd and more, Stormzy, in a new interview with Channel 4 News, opened up about his misunderstanding what it means to be depressed, a personal battle he experienced while recording his new album.
Imagine how hard it must be to reveal your inner thoughts with the world through your music and in interviews when, for many, discussing depressed feelings with close family members or friends can be a difficult task. Tack on the stigma attached to depression in the black community and the likelihood dealing with your problems head on could easily seem like an insurmountable achievement.
At only 23 years old, however, Stormzy appears unafraid and wise beyond his years. His interviews—much like his music—are steeped in a maturity that many his same-aged recording industry peers don't possess, nor do they reek the same ignorant, self-absorbed, egomaniacal undertones that continuously poison many his stateside counterparts.
Last week, Hershal asked where he could find all the cool rappers; it's possible most them only reside across the pond.
By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Instagram