Big up Skeppy.
Last night (September 15), Skepta won the Mercury Prize for his album Konnichiwa, making him the first grime MC to be awarded the Mercury since Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner in 2003.
The Tottenham MC beat off major releases such as David Bowie’s final album Blackstar, ANOHNI’s Hopelessness and Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool. Other nominees included Laura Mvula’s The Dreaming Room, soul singer Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate, Bat For Lashes’ The Bride and Kano’s Made In The Manor.
In an interview after the ceremony, Skepta called his win “a revolution for freedom,” praising the democratisation of music and the benefits of doing things on your own terms. “I just wanted to know what happens when you do it yourself. This [winning awards] happens,” he said. Skepta also said that he will spend his £25,000 ($33,000) prize money on “something positive,” mentioning the studio he is helping to build for young artists in Tottenham.
The tributes to Skepta have been coming in thick and fast, with everyone from members of the grime community to Adele praising his win. See a selection below.