Skepta’s Konnichiwa is currently in a three-way battle with Beyoncé and Radiohead for the UK chart’s #1 spot and no one is more surprised or humbled by that fact that the North London emcee himself. Despite his penchant for privacy from the media, the former pirate radio pioneer sat down with BBC Radio 1xtra’s DJ Semtex for a one-hour conversation that touched on his upbringings, inspirations and his fiercely competitive streak. Skepta speaks with respect of Dizzee Rascal, for example, who was the target of what many assumed to be a lyrical barb on the album’s title track, noting: “Some people are saying I sonned him. I didn’t son him in the intro… That’s a very, very relevant person in my scene.” Semtex also presses the artist born Joseph Junior Adenuga about the first album that meant something to him—it’s a two-way tie between Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle.
Skepta also dishes on the lessons that the roads taught him and grime’s importance as part of the UK’s socio-economic and -political scene.