Skepta's back catalogue is astonishing in both scale and quality. Sure, there have been a few blips but—statistically—it is impossible to run that long and not take a couple of wrong turns. He's given us club bangers, introspective cuts, and anthems for growing up. From Skepta's former years DJing and MCing in Meridian Crew, his work with Roll Deep, Boy Better Know and, of course, his solo offerings, he's been both versatile and consistent, which is no easy feat to pull off. When we decided to put together a list of highlights, the main challenge was cutting it all down. We had to take into account his own iconic riddims ("Private Caller", "D.T.I"), solo cuts for other producers ("Intensive Snare"), and the vast list of hits no one in the UK will forget for a very long time.
With an act whose history is so inextricably linked, not to just London, but the whole entire country, it's impossible to talk about Skep without talking about your personal experiences. He has been the soundtrack to our ups and our downs, our relationships, break-ups, and, in some cases, the much-needed bridge between ourselves and people we thought were lost to us forever. Joseph Jr. Adenuga talks about the UK in ways that we can understand. He talks about Oyster cards, about being so broke the only way you can get through the day is by luck. He talks about fake friends and real ones, about the corrupt politicians and our place in the world, right through to linking that ting on the back of the bus and people getting robbed for their phones. He gets us and we hope we get him.
Here are 25 of Skepta's best songs (so far).